I couldn’t quite put my finger on it before I got pregnant… but I know that there are many women who know what I’m talking about.
We think we are done with pregnancy and babies in general until one day we wake up and, oh shit, we are totally not done.
What. The. Heck.
Enter: baby fever.
The funny thing about baby fever is it can strike at any time. I’ve known women who are single, women who are above and below the “recommended” age, and women who are struggling with different life events or even illnesses, all find themselves struck by it.
If you’ve ever had baby fever you know that once it starts it can be relentless. It can bring out all the feels, and drive you to the brink of your sanity if you’re not careful with it. Whether your feelings are good, bad, or ugly depends on the day. What triggers it and where it comes from is even more of a mystery.
Apparently there is no rhyme or reason to when or why it starts.
Before I got pregnant this time around, I had somehow managed to talk myself out of that desire. I ventured into baby fever and came out on the other side a woman who had seemingly done what many could never imagine doing… I had found a way to beat the beast that is baby fever, or so I thought.
The truth turned out to be that even though I didn’t expect myself to get pregnant again, there actually was still something deep in me that wanted to be rediscovered, maybe discovered for the first time even.
I’ve been pondering about this a lot. And what I have realized is baby fever for me runs so much deeper than the need or want to cuddle a baby. Of course, that’s part of it. Babies are the beautiful end result, and are truly so yummy. But I have come to see how my baby fever had so much to do with the desire to feel at home in my body again. I needed another pregnancy at this very point in my life to center me, to validate my beliefs about certain aspects of life, and help me see just how much I really do love and cherish this body I am in.
When you find yourself pregnant you realize that your body can ache and hurt in places you didn’t know existed… like the space where your lady bits and your inner thigh meet. You realize that your emotions are not always in your control. You find yourself inching closer to super human powers. You can taste every seasoning. Your senses grow, your body grows, and so does your sense of self.
I have realized that our bodies can do this incredible thing without any real input from us. I have found myself able to tap into your intuition so much easier than before – saying yes or no isn’t such a life changing event! Now? I am able to say what I want or don’t want without any hesitation:
Yes, I want to eat that.
No, I don’t want to go to that event.
Yes, I want to go visit so and so.
No, I don’t feel like spending the day doing the laundry.
I have come to find that I really do have boundaries and limits, and have stopped worrying about how I will look or seem by honoring them. My ability to be truly honest with others also increased ten fold. When I start feeling upset, I just say it (or at least my face does). When my limits are tested, I call it.
“Living your truth” has moved from trendy phrase to standard mode of operation during these days of pregnancy. I am completely me, big body and all. And completely unashamed of that.
Along with this, I have seen how there were aspect of my beliefs about life itself that I was beginning to lose sight of. The importance of living in the now and enjoying life as it is becomes glaringly obvious to me while pregnant. Yes, life will be so good once baby arrives, but right now is so good too. Right now deserves for me to slow down and love my kids and husband too. Just because!
In my core I believe that most of what life hands us, good or bad, also brings with it an opportunity to learn. Experiences are laced with opportunity for growth, and when you ignore that you begin to tread a dangerous line. Right before I got pregnant I started to feel like what I am doing isn’t enough. Being a stay at home mom began to feel like a cop out, and I wondered if I needed to be doing more, if I was wasting my “God given” gifts somehow. Now I feel like God wants me to see for myself that supporting my family in this way is far from any negative spin I was tempted to put on it.
On top of all of this… I needed to be reminded that giving birth, no matter how it’s done, creates a sense of confidence like nothing else in the world. Not only does a woman’s body build another human from scratch, but it brings it out into the world. And then (if that woman is able and chooses to) their body has the ability to further sustain a baby, any baby, through breast milk. Is there anything more confidence boosting than all of this?
For me, the answer is no. I feel now more than ever that my body deserves to be loved and valued by me. Not because it makes babies, but because every day it walks me through this life without me having to force it. Intuition, self awareness, and the ability to love my body isn’t meant to be reserved for pregnancy only. It’s the way. It’s deserved by me, inherently,
As this childbearing part of my life comes to a close, I needed to be reminded of that once more. And by writing it all down, I hope to be able to cling to it for all of my years to come.