The second trimester was filled with all kinds of excitement, including a trip to New Zealand, feeling the baby move, finding out it's a girl, seeing her face for the first time (!), and eating lots of avocados. Yum.
Despite all the excitement, however, it has still been a rough transition to being unable to exercise as much as I would like--I simply don't feel like myself if I'm not active. I hear many women talk about their pregnancies with fondness, saying they really enjoyed being pregnant. I, on the other hand, cannot say that. But I can say that it will all be worth it in the end.
The biggest lesson I learned in this trimester has been about control--or rather, the lack of it. A good friend of mine who is a runner shared her wisdom and experience, saying that athletes can often have a tough time with pregnancy because they are so used to controlling their bodies that it's difficult to handle when things go haywire (and whether it's true or not, I heard that the female body changes more during pregnancy than mens' bodies change in a lifetime.) Instead, we try to transfer that control to other areas of our lives, sort of like a water-filled jar that's broken open...the water must flow somewhere. Once she told me this, it was like a lightbulb coming on in my brain and I could see this very thing happening in my life. As a triathlete, I became very good at training my body, making it swim/bike/run as hard or as far as I wanted it to go, as well as controlling the types and amounts of food I ate. But after getting pregnant, I lost much of that control, only to try and exert it (unsuccessfully) in other areas of my life. Now that I realize this, I am working on relinquishing that control, knowing that God has a different plan for my life right now. When life changes and the things that we hold onto go away, he remains. When I am weak, he is strong. This verse is a source of encouragement for me as I wait upon the Lord to renew my strength:
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. -Isaiah 40:28-31
In the meantime, I will keep pushing (figuratively and literally!) to the finish line of this pregnancy, anxious for the prize that awaits me. Stay tuned for part 3....