Although my recent posts on Facebook might make it look like I’m tired of being pregnant, I’m really not. I like being pregnant. Most of the time. Always a self-analyzer, I’m enjoying watching myself walk through all the of the emotional signposts of pregnancy yet again, heading towards delivering our new baby boy. I’ve realized that no matter how many times you do this, you never get it figured out. God and babies have their own special timing.
When I first figured out that I was pregnant with baby #9, I was excited. Approximately one minute later, I cried, dreading the inevitable morning sickness, indigestion, achiness, fatigue, and labor to come. I wish I could tell you that I’m some kind of saint, but I’m not. I strongly dislike the morning sickness that usually hits around 8 weeks and question my sanity every time I experience it. Around 20 weeks I usually recover and excitedly begin anticipating the new baby. At 20 1/2 weeks I start worrying about the baby’s health and begin to obsess over what I am eating, whether or not I am getting enough exercise, and what else can I do to help make sure baby is healthy. By 20 1/2 weeks plus 1 day, I have my head back on, having reminded myself that God is in control. Now, I settle in to enjoy the remainder of the ride, however it may end.
During the first year of our marriage, David and I’s infant son died. I had given birth to what the doctors thought were going to be completely healthy twins. Preston was unexpectedly born with a heart condition, pulmonary valve atresia, and died when he was 3 1/2 days old. Buried in the huge pile of hospital literature that was sent home with us was the statistic that 50% of all marriages that have experienced the death of a child end in divorce. I determined at that moment that my marriage wouldn’t be one of them. I also recognized that Preston’s life mattered. His breaths counted. Even though most of his life occurred in utero, it was precious. I recognized that even if every baby David and I ever conceived experienced life in the womb only, they were worth it. Without fully understanding what I was doing, I told the Lord that I would willingly experience “Preston” over and over again if that was His will.
As life got busy and I got caught up in taking care of my new little family, my prayer slipped my mind. By the time baby Patrick was 3 months old, I was exhausted and overwhelmed. He cried ALL THE TIME. When David left for work in the morning, Patrick was crying. When David got home from work in the evening, Patrick was still crying.
I cried with my infant son often, wondering what I was doing wrong. My first child hadn’t been so difficult. I had spent the last 6 years as a single mom, working 50 hours a week and raising my son, Bryan. I couldn’t wrap my brain around why being a married, stay-at-home mom seemed so much more difficult. In spite of mental exhaustion, I kept on putting one foot in front of the other trudging forward day after day. At some point, I realized that I was pregnant again. Brook Lynne was due 2 weeks after Patrick’s 1st birthday. I remembered my resolve before the Lord a couple of months before. And felt blessed.
Adding Brook Lynne to the family was easy. She was born 2 days after Patrick’s first birthday. After the trauma of losing Preston the year before and Patrick’s stressful infancy, Brook Lynne was just the healing balm I needed. She was an easy, laid back baby and took to breastfeeding like a pro! I often joke that Brook Lynne taught me how to nurse a baby. I felt like I was finally finding my groove in this thing called motherhood.
Since then, we have steadily added children to our family every other year, feeling abundantly blessed each time. Every pregnancy is different. They are all humbling, each building my character in it’s own way. As this pregnancy is drawing to a close, I am reminded that I am still a work in progress. I excitedly look forward to holding my newest little one, yet I wish this season in life never had to end. My emotions are as changeable as the Texas weather. One moment I fervently hope that today is the day! My lower back and hips ache almost all the time and my right knee has been bothering me for the last two days. Twenty minutes later, the baby moves, and my emotions change as I sit down to enjoy a few private moments with him, cherishing these last few days of baby boy living inside of me.
Am I ready for this pregnancy to be over? Yes. No. Maybe? I am grateful that I can rest in my Heavenly Father’s capable grasp, trusting in Him for the perfect timing for baby boy’s birth.
And, you are welcome for the silly pregnancy pic of the day. I’m hopping on Google now, hoping for yet another amusing preggo pic for tomorrow.