The following post was my Facebook pregnancy announcement. Looking back at my determinations, my rejoicings, and my prayers from that point challenges me in current struggles. That place of surrender was beautiful. I need to—may we ALL be encouraged to—hold on to this attitude now and in the future.
Twenty weeks. God has graciously given us 20 precious weeks.
These twenty weeks have brought with them a nearly constant battle with fear. After losing our firstborn Josiah two years ago, I had two more pregnancies—and then miscarriages—this past fall and winter. After our first loss, and then especially that first devastating miscarriage, pregnancy is no longer a joyful, carefree time of expectation.
So this February, I was even scared—no, terrified—to do the pregnancy test. But after a day of prayer and journaling, God blessed me the next morning not only with a positive pregnancy test, but also the peace to rejoice in JUST ONE DAY of pregnancy, even if I lost it the next day. It was my determination to continue rejoicing in each day of pregnancy I was given, as long as it should last. The following days, weeks, and months I worked hard to not think ahead, plan ahead, dream, or expect anything; only to accept the present, or even better, forget about it.
But then nausea made it hard to ignore. Oh, what throbs of joy and hope when my nausea started earlier than expected (that’s a good sign!). Though on days without nausea, fear returned full-force (am I losing the baby like last time?)
Then our foster daughter starting asking if I was pregnant because my belly was “puffy.” (I thought it was just my slouching or poor muscle tone, but again, I could no longer ignore the fact that I was pregnant. STILL pregnant.) Oh what secret pleasure to hear her ask. Then soon she began TELLING me that my belly looked like I had a baby inside.
I had made it past the nausea and was starting to hope, to feel happy about being pregnant. But again, fear is an almost constant companion, creeping back in every time I kick it away. (Shouldn’t I be feeling more movement by now?)
Overall, joy is seeping in (especially since we’ve told our little girl, who is already smothering my belly with kisses and sweet endearments). Yet though I’ve passed milestones that assure many that they are past danger of miscarriage (8 weeks, 10 weeks, 13 weeks, whatever), I KNOW there is no guarantee. I know people who have lost their babies at 18 weeks, 7 months, full term. I know too many babies’ bodies cannot survive after birth. I know I cannot forget reality and slip into glib assumptions about getting safely through the entire pregnancy and ending up with a healthy baby on the other side like (seemingly) every other mother.
So, we thank God for each milestone, each gift of joy along the way:
- A positive pregnancy test.
- Early and continuing nausea.
- An ultrasound at 6 weeks showing the new heart throbbing in the yolk sac that still looked like nothing.
- An end to the nausea at an appropriate time.
- Getting to hear the heartbeat on Josiah’s second birthday. (That was emotional for both Matt and me. I was so scared there wouldn’t be a heartbeat, and I couldn’t bear the thought of another loss on that day. And yet the heartbeat was there.)
- And now, we have reached 20 weeks.
God has brought us halfway. I know He is faithful, so I trust Him to do what is good, and that whatever happens to this baby or me, God will be glorified.
These are my three daily prayers:
- Please give us a healthy baby.
- Help me to trust and not live in fear.
- Prepare us for whatever happens, so our responses will bring You glory.