Rumbly in My Tumbly
By Jane Thornton -
I’m forty-eight years old and am niggled by a teeny desire to be pregnant again. Don’t gasp with horror or shriek with mocking laughter. The realistic ninety-eight percent of me would gasp and shriek along with you, but that teensy bit of me surveys my expectant student teacher with a tinge of envy.
Watching her absent-minded stroke over her bubble belly, I remember that constant awareness of new life burgeoning within me. In the second trimester, a butterfly flutter of movement that could be gas. Then the final month’s shocking—almost disturbing—rumbly roll and heave as the baby undulates in its stretched-to-the-max cocoon. Both serve to remind that a real and separate being, with unlimited potential, shelters within.
Even the weird and gross provide an element of freakish fascination. When I was carrying my son, I bit into a Pop-tart only to have my mouth begin bleeding uncontrollably. Not a hemorrhage, but a steady, unstoppable flow of blood from behind my upper teeth.
I called the only doctor I had, my OB/GYN. What I expected her to do about bleeding gums, I can’t imagine. Speaking around my fingers which applied pressure to the roof of my mouth, I mumbled out my plight.
“Call your dentist.”
I did, and he very kindly met me on his day off—by which time the bleeding had stopped. His examination revealed a pregnancy tumor, harmless, temporary, and very odd. But I got a good story out of it and reveled in sharing exclamations over how bizarre our bodies are.
And I don’t think I’m the odd woman out who relished all the attention that comes with maternity clothes. From the first announcement, friends and strangers alike fawn over expectant mommies, expressing concern over morning sickness and feeling free enough to pat your tummy—an action completely inappropriate in all other instances, but strangely acceptable during pregnancy.
Unfortunately, I’m saddened to see all these appealing factors enticing my students into premature motherhood. In our permissive society, in addition to sexual temptations, girls today face a greater lure toward the untimely grasp of these joys. Many teenage pregnancies I have encountered are planned.
Outside of God’s design.
As, I suppose, a pregnancy for me would be. The time has come for me to let go of that dream and anticipate a few years down the road . . . eek . . . my grandmother years.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NIV).
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).