Some days being pregnant feels like I’m a raw nerve exposed to the world. All my thoughts, feelings, sensations are just right on the surface, and there’s no filter or barrier to the emotions that come, rising and falling like ocean waves in a stormy sea.
Like anything else, we have dreams and ideas of how we might be when pregnant. Mine: slender and svelte, with the cutest bump-only style belly. Glowing, loving, nurturing and friendly towards both my growing child and the world. Absorbed in the magical bubble surrounding myself and my husband as we nest and look eagerly towards the future, waiting to meet our dear little friend who resides in my womb space.
And then I get slapped by reality.
I have moments when I feel all of the above (except the svelte part, that one just didn’t happen for me). But I have the raw nerve moments too, and sometimes those moments extend into minutes, or hours, or days. The tears fill my eyes and fall, hot and unfettered, down my cheeks – big, heavy elephant tears that soak my shirt and seem to come from somewhere deep within. Everything seems more somehow – the world more unjust, my body more awkward and cumbersome, daily stresses and obligations more pressing, more daunting.
But the love is more too. The tears come, too, when I am overwhelmed by the grace of God and the beauty of my life. They fall when my husband holds me, because he doesn’t understand, but he loves me. They come when a student or friend speaks words of praise over my presence in their life. They fall when I look at another new mom, and her sweet child, and I know that they too are feeling the magnitude of the emotional vibrations in this space.
I wonder… is this the transition to motherhood?
Is this what Gaia feels? Is this the space of the cosmic nurturer, simultaneously horrified and awed by the pain and the beauty in the world? Am I destined (and doomed) to be this open from now on? Is my earthen vessel being stretched and cracked open beyond repair, never to be molded into a vase again, but instead, rebuilt into a beautiful mosaic with shattered pieces of who I used to be?
And then, just like that, it passes. The tears stop flowing, and I sit, calm and relaxed, wondering what happened to the flood of emotion that just washed over me. Like the earth after a wild rainstorm, I am washed clean and a sense of renewed purpose and possibility hangs in the air. And in that moment, I can’t remember what all the fuss was about. The gremlin inside me kicks and squirms, and I heave my expanding body off the couch, and go on about my day.