A year ago today I took 3 pregnancy tests…the first one because I thought it couldn’t hurt anything to check, and the next two because I so badly didn’t want the first one to have been wrong.
Over the next 9 months Great Excitement and Joy moved in to stay, but Fear and Guilt also dropped by every few weeks with little warning.
Great Excitement because Nathan and I always knew we wanted to have kids, and to us, conception alone is a miracle (let alone a good pregnancy resulting in a healthy baby). The anticipation of telling our families and eventually our coworkers almost killed us (well, me). Unexplainable joy when I felt the first kick that I knew for sure wasn’t just gas at 16 weeks. Our second ultrasound (anatomy check) came around 20 weeks and we couldn’t stop grinning at our BOY who already seemed so wonderful! And then came the excitement of baby showers, painting the nursery, packing the hospital bag and finally meeting our firstborn!
And throughout it all, there was fear and guilt. Fear of losing the baby, that I was drinking too much caffeine, not getting enough exercise, using the wrong household cleaners…fear that he wasn’t kicking enough, fear that he was kicking too much, fear that the lack of morning sickness meant something was wrong…you get the point.
And then came the guilt. Guilt, because despite my belief that every conception and pregnancy is a miracle, I hated morning sickness. Guilt, because even though I knew it was best for our son to cook for 40 weeks, I wanted so badly for him to come early. Guilt throughout the whole pregnancy because I didn’t enjoy all the pregnancy pains (morning sickness, stretching ligaments, exploding bladder, sore hips, sleeping fitfully on my side…I’m sure you can add to my list if you’ve ever been pregnant).
When the doctor told me at the end of my pregnancy that my pregnancy was the least-complicated one she had seen in a long time, I felt guilt instead of joy. Guilt because my joy was tainted with fear. Because I lacked faith. I knew that God was good, but I didn’t fully trust Him. I didn’t cling to the promise that God’s plan is good for those who love him (see Romans 8:28). I struggled to trust that even if we didn’t get to meet our son as a healthy baby, that too would be part of God’s good plan for us. You see, faith is not merely believing (although it certainly must include that), it is also trusting. And when you fully trust in a God whose love for you is greater than you could ever understand, all fear is cast out. We are assured early on (in Genesis) that childbirth will be painful, but we are also promised that the devil will be crushed, so we need not live in fear.
Our son is now 3 and a half months old, and I can attest to the fact that fear does not dissipate after your baby is born. You still feel completely responsible for their health, well-being, character development, etc.
So my goal for this year is to live less and less in fear….and that means trusting God more and more and clinging to His promise that He is good. Because He Is.