I had a bit of an epiphany the other day on my way to work. Being pregnant is a lot like a thru-hike. In the beginning, you're just getting used to everything -- you're tired, worn out, fall asleep before the sun sets... Then once you get your "trail legs" and start feeling good, you have lots of energy and can start to see the end of the hike. You look forward to the day you finish your hike -- you look forward to the baby and begin to visualize him or her. And as you get through the third trimester, getting closer and closer to labor, you begin to get trail weary, yet a little scared. You are done and ready to get on with your life, yet you've had such a fun time, you're not quite sure you want this part to end. Coming to the end of this journey means a lot more responsibility, and you're not quite sure you can handle it. Sure, it's something you thought about before starting the journey, but it seemed so far away until just now. Yet, you're ready to be done.
Some days are more challenging than others -- you have to push yourself beyond your limits, and you realize that you're much stronger than you thought. Some days you just feel lazy and want to sit in the sun all day doing absolutely nothing. Some days you just need to get your chores done, and you always have to remember to call your mother. As the time wears on, your dreams about life before the hike begin to fade, and you have vibrant, fun dreams about your journey, and your life afterwards.
Here are some other commonalities between a thru-hike and a pregnancy:
You eat more than you (or anyone else) can imagine -- and when possible, you eat continuously.
You have weird cravings.
You drink water all the time.
Sometimes your back hurts.
Sometimes you feel on top of the world.
Sometimes you just want to lay down and cry in self pity.
You spend a lot of time in front of the mirror checking out your changing body shape.
You weigh yourself whenever you get the chance.
When you walk down the street in town, people notice you, and some ask you questions about your journey.
You periodically get cards and letters from friends asking about your journey.
You keep a journal.
You will do anything for a back rub.
When you sleep on your side, your hips hurt.
You can smell people before you see them.
Once I had this epiphany, I realized that I can do this. I haven't been as excited about being pregnant and having a baby as I thought I would be. I think it's mainly because I've been so sick. But now that I know it's just one foot in front of the other (and repeat), I know I can make it through this bleak, "breaking in" period and I'll be just fine once I have my trail legs. After all, I've done this twice before. This pregnancy is my CDT. Maybe I'll apply for my triple crown certificate once the baby is born...