baby training

My mother-in-law Karen says that God does little things with our pregnant bodies to prepare it for motherhood. I don’t think she has any medical or spiritual proof of this, but I believe it. The getting up at night because your bladder is about to burst is good practice for getting up all the time with your wailing newborn. (C’mon, I know you see the similarities.) And I think maybe, too, my arms are being strengthened by pushing myself up into a sitting position, because my abs sure don’t work anymore.

I think God does other things to sort of make the landing on the motherhood pad a little softer than it could be. For instance, I was baking pumpkin bread today. I scooped the pureed pumpkin out of its can, getting it over all over myself in the process. It looked like baby food to me, squishy and orangey-brown. I had pumpkin bread dough splattered all over my shirt and arms by the time I was done mixing the batter. I thought, “This is great. I’m going to have to get used to looking and feeling like a sticky, poopy slob for days at a time.” (I’m not saying I want to look like one.)

I wonder if God’s training my feet, too. I don’t know for sure, though. Seems like if they had a break they wouldn’t be the worse for it. Two nights ago, they were all red and swollen from standing up practically all day. I had been baking monster cookies barefoot, and my heels were all callused and dirty from the kitchen floor. I gave my ankles sympathetic glances every once in a while because I had never seen them so swollen (although, I’ll admit, they were normal enough to make me question whether they really even were swollen at all). But I was still able to coerce Kyle into a foot and leg and lower back massage, and he was an absolute darling about it.

I’m getting up earlier these days, and completely voluntarily. I don’t have to get up very early, now that I only leave the house for doctor’s appointments and getting groceries, so I usually get up at eight. This morning, though, I woke up at 7.15, and I thought to myself, “You know, I really don’t need any more sleep.” So, I got up. It was a big victory, so don’t scoff at it. I think God puts the desire for earlier rising in me, and I thank Him for it. There’s something peaceful and miraculous about mornings, and there’s no other way to feel that except to get up for them.

Nesting is another way of God preparing me for motherhood, I think. It’s hardly instinctual; it’s more what I expect myself to do, so it’s very planned. I’m wiping down doors, touching up the walls with paint, baking for all I’m worth. I told Kyle I thought we might need to get a deep freeze by the time I’m done making all the food I want to make for when the baby comes. Aside from the red, swollen feet, it’s really rewarding to have made so much food lately. I’ve got pumpkin splatters on my shirt, but I’ve also got two lovely loaves of pumpkin bread cooling on the counter.

Something’s happening in my heart, too. This morning, when I was swimming in the pool, fretting about the sign that had warned, “Adults should not swim alone,” I was thinking how I was ready to plead to my murderer for my life “for the baby’s sake.” And I meant it, too. It wasn’t some cold-hearted, selfish scheme to get him to change his mind about killing me. In fact, I thought about arguing next that he could kill me as long as he called 911 first, so they could at least rescue my premature baby.

I’m trying to figure out where I got this love for this little being I’ve never seen or heard. When he kicks, Kyle says he practicing soccer, but I know the truth: he’s sending little love messages and playing games because he knows we’re out here, wondering quietly, waiting for his next move.

    • Luke
    • August 18th, 2006

    Love it! I’m excited for your experiences. I admit, part of it’s selfish. I want to read about them.

    If you haven’t already, I recommend you read this. I thought it was a wonderful use of imagery in prose.

    • Rebekah
    • August 19th, 2006

    hey, carrie! i don’t know if you remember me…cheryl manz’s friend from oklahoma! i’m so excited for you & kyle & your coming addition to the family! 🙂 congrats!

    • c.l.beyer
    • August 21st, 2006

    Of course I remember you! Thanks so much for checking in. I hope everything’s going well for you, too!

    • Jacque
    • August 29th, 2006

    Carrie, your child is plotting against you… “playing games because he knows we’re out here.” He’s about to turn your life upside down, and I can’t wait.

  1. June 24th, 2008

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