On Strength and Weakness — and What Lies in Between

All’s been quiet on the Pickle front this week. At least in terms of “news.” She’s not been quiet, however. She’s moving around more and more every day. And she’s finding all sorts of interesting (read: uncomfortable) ways to make her presence known to Mom — morning, noon and night.

This past week was our last one without multiple doctor visits per week. This coming Thursday we have another ultrasound (perhaps she’ll cooperate this time) as well as a consultation with the neonatologists. And Friday I have a regular OB visit. Next week my twice-weekly nonstress tests begin, as well as every-other-week OB visits. So life is about to get pretty hectic.

We’re hoping everything continues to progress smoothly. Because, honestly, from the pregnancy perspective of everything, I’ve had it pretty great. No morning sickness. No ridiculous cravings. The mood swings could definitely be worse. My body handles this pregnancy very well and is keeping Pickle safe and sound. And we’re hoping that continues to be the case. Because I do believe we have enough other “stuff” to worry about right now.

With so few appointments happening and a week that felt very “normal” for a couple of people expecting their first baby, we’ve been able to put everything to the back of our minds for a little while. It was nice, and it almostlasted the whole week. Friday night Mr. B and I went shopping for a couple of gifts for some upcoming baby showers. (Is it just me, or is everyone having a baby right now?)

I may have gone a little overboard on the gifts and spent way more time wandering the aisles than I normally would. But, you know what? It felt so good to be able to buy something for a newborn that’s cute and snuggly and fun. Not practical, like all of the things we need to buy Pickle. Plus, we’re really limiting the amount of newborn clothes we’re buying for Pickle. Because by the time she comes home, she’ll most likely be out of most of it. Honestly, we’re limiting a lot of the things we’re buying for her because there are just so many unknowns. Well, I mean, except for books. Because every girl needs a well-stocked bookshelf!

Anyway, it was so much fun shopping for the baby things and looking at how cute and fun they all are. And Mr. B literally had to drag me out of the store. (But not before I bought Pickle a new book.)

But then I wrapped the gifts, followed immediately by packing up all of Pickle’s things because she won’t be needing them. Not until at least mid-November — maybe longer. And it sent me to that weird place again. It’s not sadness. I don’t know what it is. Maybe longing …

People keep telling me how strong I am in the face of all that’s going on. How they just don’t know how I do it — as if I have a choice. Because, really, I’ve never felt weaker in my entire life. I mean, I learned about strength when, in 2009, I decided it was time to take control of my life, lose some weight and get my health in check. I learned about strength when I fought every voice in my head and crossed the finish line of a full marathon in 2011. I learned about strength when I risked rejection and sent a silly online message to a cute boy in a hat. And I learned about strength when almost 30 years of self-doubt tried so hard to tell me that I couldn’t possibly do any of those things.

But those are all different kinds of “strength.” And different kinds of weaknesses I had to overcome. The kind of strength I’m going to need, we’re going to need, is so much different than anything we’ve had to have in the past. It’s so much bigger. And all the deadlifts, leg presses and bicep curls in the world aren’t going to help.

All that’s going to help is getting up every day and remembering that there is a little girl counting on me, counting on us. And nothing else matters. Because we aren’t just Mrs. and Mr. B anymore. We are Mom and Dad. The most important job we’ll ever have. And that requires a strength — and muscles — we never knew lived inside of us.

“The key is this: Meet today’s problems with today’s strength. Don’t start tackling tomorrow’s problems until tomorrow. You do not have tomorrow’s strength yet. You simply have enough for today.” ~Max Lucado

So, while I may have days where I feel weaker than I’ve ever been, I get up and face the day. And take it all as it comes. Knowing that what I do have will get me through, knowing that the strength I need will find me. It always does. And when that strength is delayed by traffic — I have Mr. B by my side to spot me.

Originally posted on The Pickle Chronicle.

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