From conception until birth is somewhere around 40 weeks, over half a year. Why is that? I believe this time helps us prepare for birth and being mothers. If we could just drop babies without any preparation it would be very overwhelming. Don't get me wrong, it's overwhelming even with 40 week prep, but we need the time to help us prepare for our births.
Let's be real, for most women pregnancy is not very much fun. There's nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, growing and stretching, the use of muscles you didn't know you had, sleeplessness, restlessness, pulling, swelling and more. At times it can be very uncomfortable and even painful. But it is preparation for the hard work of labor and delivery and motherhood. Everything in this time period takes sacrifice on our parts. No matter what you want in your birth, it is a sacrifice to bring a baby into the world. Pregnancy begins to teach us those sacrifices.
Towards the end it can get almost unbearable. When visiting our hometown, my friend Ashley said, "We have to be miserable at the end so that we will welcome labor." And I thought, that is so true. Labor is painful. It is hard work. But by the end of our pregnancy we are generally ready to meet our babes and labor is a welcome relief, even if it is painful, because we know that the end of the physical pain is in sight.
I need this reminder, because I often do not welcome pregnancy as I should, especially at the end. But I am thankful for each pregnancy that has taught me more about my God, and for each birth that has shown me God's provision and love for me.
How have your pregnancies helped prepare you for birth?