In the spring of 2014 I found out I was pregnant with twins and started documenting my journey in a weekly post. I will be periodically posting these past writings, starting from the beginning. This was written Aug 13, 2014.
My belly is ballooning out. I haven’t been able to wear my wedding ring for so long now, the tan line that was left in it’s absence is almost gone. With an extreme lack of comfort, sleep officially now sucks. I have a large protrusion I can’t exactly lean on and the babies are constantly kicking, pushing and tumbling all over the place keeping me awake. I lose my breath going up a flight of stairs. The only shoes that fit are my flip-flops and if I press on the top of my foot, I can make an immediate but lingering indentation. I’d show you but it might gross you out. But none of this is new. I’ve been slowly getting to this point and from its beginning I’ve pretty much felt somewhat incapacitated and have had to learn to accept help from others.
From the cashiers at the grocery store who won’t let me carry out my groceries to the mechanic who was concerned I wouldn’t be able to reach down to pull the lever to pop my hood when I was in my car getting my oil changed, everyone is on the watch for me. And it’s a good thing. I do need the help. I shouldn’t be lifting heavy things, it’s difficult to bend over and sometimes just getting up and going across the room takes my breath away. But learning to submit to my body and depend on others for help has been difficult. When my husband asks if he can make me breakfast or give me a foot massage, my immediate answer isn’t, “Yes! Absolutely.” Prior to being pregnant I usually sounded something more like, “Do you really want to?” or “I don’t mind doing it.”
So why is it so hard to reach out and accept help? I think of this question, especially in light of the tragic news we have been hearing. From a homemaker and mother who could easily be your next door neighbor to one of the world’s greatest comedic geniuses, we are shocked when we hear of others who have taken their own life. I don’t know their stories and perhaps they were beyond help but do you think the people around them knew the severity of their pain?
Pregnant women are lucky in that it’s obvious we are pregnant. People suffering from things like depression, anxiety and chronic pain have to go through life keeping their suffering in the shadows.
People suffer from difficulties we can’t always understand. Like the mama who’s at her wits end with the screaming child or the quiet high school student who hasn’t been able to vocalize the pain of being a victim of bullying. Life is hard and we shouldn’t feel we have to go through it alone or in silence.
Through my pregnancy, I’ve come a long way in accepting help from others, but I’m lucky that I’ve also never had to ask for it. My wish is that we could all bear our burdens like a big, obvious pregnant belly and receive the help and support we all need.
I wish this because one thing I’ve found is that pregnancy has shed a good light on others around me. Thank you to everyone who has helped me along this journey. By grabbing a chair for me to sit in, sharing your stories, letting me cut in line, giving me an encouraging smile or offering help (whether taken or not), I am extremely grateful. You have shown me humanity is good, I’ll be bringing our babies into a good place and we just might have a chance.