I've been noticing recently that my husband is taking a few more minutes to recite his morning blessings.

Of course, he has good reason for the extra concentration. I am expecting, G‑d willing, our sixth child. I know that he's praying for the health and welfare of his growing family.

But there is one blessing, in particular, about which I wonder if he now pauses over for an extra moment of contemplation. Have the words taken on a deeper significance to him as he recites, "Thank You, G‑d, for not making me a woman"?

As he watches me struggle with my bouts of nausea and lassitude, with my raging hormones and assortment of pains and discomforts, surely he cannot help but feel grateful to be exempt of this burden?

These days, my world has changed dramatically. While I am thrilled with the wonder of a life growing inside of me, the wait is gruesomely difficult.

Not so long ago, I used to wake up filled with eager energy to tackle the novel challenges of the new day. I would look forward to confronting new projects at work, implementing new strategies, devising new programs, formulating new ideas. I reveled, too, in taking care of my home, frolicking with my children and inventing new activities of interest for them.

Nowadays, however, my mornings begin with sickness which progresses into burdensome heaviness, lethargy and immobility. My days revolve around simply trying to survive one hour after another until a night's fitful sleep provides some refuge from the tormenting sickliness.

This is how my days pass, week after week, month after month.

I no longer feel in control of anything. My brain and body seem to be working hand in hand in a grand conspiracy against me. Any thought with the slightest degree of complexity is too straining to tackle. My burgeoning body is growing way out of control, pounds heaping upon pounds, collaborating against any remaining agility. Energy is a word of the past, the slightest exertion an effort beyond my capability.

And yet, somehow, in this state a new realization has also dawned — as if a new space of awareness has opened up within me.

I've come to realize, quite simply, that my situation and circumstances are not in my hands to control. While I do the small bit that I can, while I put forth whatever effort I am able to muster to order and run my life, there is the underlying realization that everything — projects at work, my health, the activities or issues in my children's lives, and even my own thought-process — are no longer mine alone.

The stark recognition has hit me that You, G‑d, are orchestrating it all.

As I'm forced to relinquish my reins of control — usually such an integral part of my personality — I am faced with a new reality. I am compelled instead to fall back on You and Your control. And as I fall back, relegating it all to You, I find that the fall is surprisingly not hard, that there is the cushion of a new pillow of faith and comfort.

So my husband futilely empathizes with my pains and discomfort and tries to offer practical assistance. He prays on behalf of me and our family with extra concentration and devotion. And he thanks G‑d with a measure of relief for not making him go through this physiologically-debilitating and emotionally-draining condition. As a man, he can fully participate in the birth of a new child without the need to be so transformed and so wrung out in the process.

As for me, as I try to focus my unfocused brain on my prayers, I, too, spend slightly more time on my morning blessings.

I, too, thank You, G‑d. I thank you for all the good in my life. I thank You for my husband and children. And I thank you for the blessing of new life developing within me.

Perhaps I should be able to thank You for my aches and pains, too — knowing full well that the end result will make it all worthwhile — but quite honestly, I cannot. Maybe it's because I cannot really fathom why such absolute joy must be preceded with such sickliness. Or perhaps it's simply because, in the meanwhile, G‑d, I'm suffering.

But the genuine thanks that I do offer You is for the realization, through this all, that these pains — that the suffering in Your world, and that all the good and bad that You have chosen to intermingle in Your creatures' lives — is all happening exactly according to Your plan, exactly according to Your wishes.

I thank You for the awareness that You are fully taking care of me. It eases my mind to know that You are working it all out, exactly as it is meant to be.

And falling back into that space, that comforting pillow of faith, in realizing that You are controlling it all — whether I appreciate it or not, whether I understand it or not — makes me say my blessings with that little bit of extra conviction.

I take a moment to pause in reflection as I read the blessing that women have traditionally recited replacing the one my husband reads. I say with absolute and honest sincerity: "Thank You, G‑d, for making me — and Your world — exactly as You want it to be."