So, in my nostalgic mood, I began thinking about what each of my pregnancies has taught me. You’d think by the third one, you’d have it all down, but that just isn’t the case. Each one has revealed to me something new, something different. Each had a different lesson for me to learn.
My first pregnancy was that exciting first pregnancy. We were finally expecting after two years (very long years) of trying. My first pregnancy came at a time we did not expect. We had resigned ourselves to the fact that God was not going to grow our family in the traditional sense. We finally had peace that we were okay with that. And then, along came that positive test (that I wasn’t going to take becasue I was so sure it was a waste of money). Everything changed with that. Our prayers of the two previous years were suddenly answered. It was really difficult to believe! We faced a lot of difficulties during that first pregnancy, but we never stopped having faith that all would work out- because we had such wonderful proof of our faithful God. Despite the fact that our house we had left behind wouldn’t sell, we were joyful. Despite the fact that we could not find a home to do ministry, we were joyful. Despite my loosing my job, we were joyful. In the end, it all worked out, of course. We knew it would. Our house sold at the last possible moment. We found a place we could temporarily call our misistry home. Loosing my job paved the way for me to become a stay at home mom (something we thought just wouldn’t ever be possible). We had proof after proof of our faithful God.
My pregnancy with Aidan was quite a surprise! We were hoping for another baby soon after having Imogene. We had waited two years to have Imogene, we were anxious to have another, or at least be able to try in case it took another two years. To my surprise, in February after Imogene was born, I found I was pregnant again! We waited to share our wonderful news, not really knowing how it would be accepted. My pregnancy with Aidan was perfect- until the end. I went into labor early, they were able to stop it. They discovered Aidan was breech and my OB and her practice would not deliver a breech baby. We prayed so hard for him to turn. I just knew God would turn him and I wouldn’t be cut. But God had other plans for us then. It was another lesson in trusting God. He had always proven to be faithful to us, but could we trust when he clearly said no? I found that I could. What else could I do? Let me tell you, that was a much more difficult lesson in faith. It wasn’t about waiting. It was about not getting what we wanted. But God was no less faithful then than when He had answered our every prayer. I had to learn to trust that He would provide for us and it was in His hands. He was still with me every step of the way. He was still faithful to look out for us. Even though nothing went the way I wanted it to, we still felt the Lord with us. We still had faith. Aidan was born by c-section, which was probably one of the worst experiences of my life. (I know, the birth of a child should be a happy moment, but his birth was very bitter sweet.) Somehow, through God’s grace, I made it through the c-section without freaking out completely. I actually felt very at peace, even in that terrifying situation. I didn’t say much. I just listened and prayed the Psalms over and over in my head. I couldn’t think enough to be able to form my own words, so I let the Word of God speak for me. How I remebered the Psalms I did while I was in that situation, I don’t know. I never took the time to memorize them, yet the words were there in my heart when I needed them most. Aidan was in the NICU for 10 days. I visited his bedside every 3 hours and prayed over that little boy. (I know Adam did the same.) It was difficult for us, but we found so much help and comfort in those around us. We had friends and family around us to help. The seminary gave us a place in Jackson to stay while he was in the NICU so we could visit him that often. I had to learn, not only to trust God, but to gratefully accept the love and help of those around me. I couldn’t do much. I was really just present. We couldn’t have gotten through it without help. We couldn’t have gotten through it without much prayer. We couldn’t have gotten through it without faith.
My pregnancy with Emery has really opened me to the “natural revelation” of God. I know, you’d think that in my previous two pregnancies I would have learned this already, but I didn’t really think about it. It wasn’t until I was faced with what I would do that I thought about it. I was faced with the question of who to trust this pregnancy. Do I trust God and the natural way He created us? Or do I trust doctors to do this for me? I found that the only reasonable response for me was to trust God and trust the way He created me. I found a wonderful doctor that opened my eyes to a new kind of trust in yourself that I would have never seen on my own. It seems odd to say that I have learned to trust myself, but it isn’t about trusting me. It is about trusting the way God created me. He didn’t make me uncapable. He created such a perfect plan of creation and procreation. In learning to accept my body as a wonderful creation of God, I am learning to accept all aspects of myself as God’s creation. I am not a machine. I am a person- and people are so much more beautiful and complex than just a conglomeration of moving parts. It hasn’t been easy. Both of my previous pregnancies, I relied on doctors to tell me all was well. I relied on them to tell me what I should do and when I should do it. This time around, I have learned to trust Creation. I’ve learned to place it in God’s hands and trust that I am capable and able. You women know how hard this is. I know I have always felt inferior- not perfect- not “right.” I am learning to love myself and accept myself as His creation- made in His image. I have developed a deeper sense of awe at the way things work. I have developed a deeper sense of the special gift God has given me in being a woman and a mother. I have developed a deeper sense of thanksgiving for what He has given me just in Creation. And I have been given such a peace that I am in His hands and I am a part of this wonderful world He has created.