My wife is gloriously pregnant with our 4th child. She is beautiful. I love her round belly. I love to put my hand on it and feel our little daughter moving inside. I love the “pregnancy glow” that my wife shines about. With each pregnancy we go through I am more grateful for the sacrifices my wife makes in order to bring children into the world
Each pregnancy has its difficulties. It starts of with a few months of sickness. Morning and evening spent nauseous and throwing up as her body adjusts to the new life forming within her. Those first couple of months she is very tired and finds it hard to find the energy to do very much. Next, her clothes stop fitting and she has to switch over to maternity clothing. She then has a brief window during the second trimester that affords relative ease and enjoyment. Then the 3rd trimester comes. This is the hardest. Her back hurts. Her legs hurt. It is very difficult to sleep at night and to get comfortable. Her walk becomes a waddle. Stairs and everyday movements become more restricted. Bending over to pick something up becomes a challenge. The closer she gets to the due date the more miserable it gets. She goes through all this because she knows that the little life God is creating within her is worth the entire struggle. I have found that through each pregnancy the most difficult effects for my wife to endure are not physical but emotional. With each pregnancy I have seen her become discouraged by how others respond to her changing body. This has really made me love her more because of her sacrifice.
Some things about middle school and high school I can remember pretty vividly. These are some of the hardest times in life as you are self conscious about the way you look and how others perceive you. Some kids are skinny and some are overweight. Some are smart and some are jocks. I don’t think any person makes it out of middle school undamaged. We have all been ridiculed and hurt by the words of others.
Acne was particularly embarrassing to me. I had a reoccurring large zit that would come up on the tip of my nose and it dominated my life and thoughts. It didn’t help that my close friends would call me ‘Rudolph’ (thanks Carson J) and ridicule me about it. I can remember not wanting to see anyone, not wanting to go to school for fear of embarrassment, and every time I spoke with someone I was sure that all they were thinking about was the large abnormality on my nose. There was nothing I could do about my nose condition, but after a few days it would go away and life would be back to normal.
As I have seen my wife struggle as she gets dressed and looks at her ever-expanding belly in the mirror. Little comments people make deject her. Most people do not realize how they make her feel. Most of us don’t think through how our words will make others feel. People say things like, “You haven’t had that baby yet?” “Are you having two again?” “You still have HOW MANY months left?” Most of the people that say these things are friends, family and well meaning loved ones. Each time I hear someone say something like that to my wife it hurts me because I know she must feel like I did as a middle school kid facing ridicule. Motherhood is a special calling that should be held in honor among all things. I am so thankful for what my mother endured to give me life. Most of us know someone right now who is pregnant. As you think about moms and pregnant women let me offer a few suggestions when speaking to them.
Only say uplifting words to pregnant women. If you cannot say anything nice then don’t say anything at all. Here are some statements that would be appropriate: “You look great!” “Congratulations.” “Pregnancy looks so good on you.” “I can’t wait to meet your new baby.” “Is there anything you need?” “Is there anything I can do to help you?”
Don’t say anything that might verify what the pregnant lady already feels about the way she looks. I listed a few of these above but here are a few more to watch out for: “That’s going to be a BIG baby!” “Wide load coming through!” “How you doing, Big Mama?” Just a quick reminder even if you are being sarcastic…sarcasm almost always hurts.
Let’s do all we can to watch our words and be sensitive to those who give life.
1 Timothy 2:15 But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.