There but for the grace of God

I realize that I haven’t posted very much about Renae’s pregnancy, and there are a couple of reasons for that. One, I’m not necessarily one of those folks who wants to divulge all manner of information about their family online — even in this wonderfully connected wired world of ours, there’s still something to said for keeping some things private.

However, the primary reason for my lack of pregnancy-related blogging is that pregnancy sucks, to be perfectly honest. Or at least our pregnancy has sucked, thanks to copious amounts of vomit, aches, pains, and marital stress. As such, it’s difficult, after having gone through yet another round of nastiness, to want to revisit it long enough to write a blog entry about it. You just want deal with it, forget it, move on, and hope the next day will be better.

All that being said, we began Lamaze class this week — and it was much better than I had feared. Lamaze was an experience that I was not looking forward to — for two reasons. One was all of the horror stories I’d heard from friends and co-workers about ultra-gross movies and other medical displays. The other was a particularly scarring experience I had back in my eighth grade sex education class whilst watching one of those damnable “Miracle of Life” videos.

So just how bad am I when it comes to pregnancy grossness? Well, I almost passed out when our midwife showed us a flipbook of illustrations depicting childbirth. Not photos, just hand-drawn illustrations — and not even very detailed illustrations at that. But I have a very vivid imagination, and so even the sketchiest of sketches was enough for me to start envisioning all of the sights and sounds I might experience in the delivery room. Next thing I knew, my vision was starting to blank out, my face was burning up, and I was in dire need of a chair and a cool cloth.

Perhaps that paints me as a wimp, but so be it. Ladies, I know that pregnancy is a painful thing, and believe me, I thank God pretty much every day that I don’t have to go through it myself. And yet, at the same time, there’s nothing worse than knowing that someone you love is about to go through an excruciating experience and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. (Believe me, helplessness is something with which I’ve become very familiar during these past few months).

But there are moments of grace in which I am shielded from pregnancy’s ickiness, and can see the process for the amazing, even miraculous thing that it is. Once I’m able to attain some measure of clinical detachment, I find myself in awe of the little things about my wife’s body — the muscle layers of her uterus, for example — and what it does with them — such as contractions (which are fascinating things in and of themselves) — in order to complete a task for which it was designed.

Ultimately, as is often the case with pain and strife, it is necessary to remind yourself of what it is all for. And so I gain some measure of confidence and peace from knowing that at the end of all of this, we have a son waiting for us. (Technically, we’re waiting for him, but you know what I mean.)