During my whole pregnancy, I kept telling people that it was hard to believe that I was going to have a baby! Even towards the end, I said that if I ended up with a baby at the end of everything, I would be in complete and utter shock because of the huge miracle it would be. Even before I was pregnant, everything about having a baby was been so hard to believe. How is it possible that such a perfect little person could grow inside of me for 9 months, be born into the world, and grow into a person that is a reflection of Jason and me?
My whole life I have dreamed about becoming a mom. For almost my entire life, I have wished that one day I would get to experience the joy of having my own children. I have prayed countless prayers that I would be able to get pregnant and have a baby. Being the worrier that I am, pre-pregnancy, I thought a lot about whether I would be able to get pregnant or not. These thoughts and worries resulted in many prayers that we wouldn't have difficulty getting pregnant. I remember before we started trying, I thought a lot about how I would respond if I had problems. Would I be able to adopt and be happy? Would I go on fertility treatments? I prayed that God would give me the strength to surrender to his plan and will for my life - whatever it may be - having biological children or not. However, the first miracle I experienced in this whole journey was that we were able to get pregnant fine. It was a huge answer to prayer, and I remember thanking God the moment I saw the positive test. I remember crying silent tears of joy and thinking "God, are you really this good?" He has been so good to me and Jason throughout this whole process that all I can do is stand in awe of him and give thanks. I know that many people struggle with this part of the process and my heart has always gone out to them. This process has taught me that everything regarding fertility, pregnancy, child-birth, etc. is completely 100% in God's hands. That's why whenever I have a friend struggling, I know the best thing to do for them is pray - pray that God will accomplish his will and purpose for them in their lives and to give them the strength to trust in him through the ups and the downs.
Once I was pregnant, I felt like God had proven himself so trustworthy - that he was worthy of my complete trust no matter what. However, being the fallen human being that I am - I fell to having doubts and worry about all aspects of pregnancy. Would I have a miscarriage? Would I be able to meet this baby that I was carrying inside of me? Would I be able to deal with the loss of a child I have conceived and already begun to love? Again, these worries resulted in countless prayers- asking God for a healthy pregnancy, believing that everything was 100% in his hands, but still worrying about what his plan for me would be - what if God's plan didn't match up with my hopes and dreams? Again, God taught me so much about trusting him through my pregnancy. He taught me that even though I felt completely helpless and out of control, he was taking care of the baby inside of me - growing her as she needed to grow, developing her as she needed to develop, and no matter how much I worried, or thought about the process - I had 0% control of the situation. All I could do again was pray that God's purpose for my life would be accomplished, that I would give him the glory no matter what the outcome, and that I would "cast my cares upon Him." There are so many verses that comforted me during this time. This one in particular stands out:
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:4-7
This verse, and many others in the Bible taught me that my worry did not glorify God because it was a sign that I was not trusting Him. In order to glorify God, I needed to let the peace of God dwell in my heart. Looking back, God has been so patient with me. Even though he has proven himself time and again in my life, and even though I still fought with worried thoughts, He stayed near to me throughout the entire pregnancy, kept me and the baby completely healthy, and most importantly taught me so much about his character, love, and trustworthiness during the process.
Towards the end of the pregnancy, I started to feel a little more confident, trusting that God would bring me to the finish line with a healthy baby! However, then there was one last thing of course that I was tempted to worry about - the childbirth! I had heard many stories about things going wrong at the last minute. I was pretty surprised at how little I was concerned about the physical pain I would experience, and was instead worrying (again!) about if my baby would be healthy or not. Again, God was there right beside me to calm my fears. I again surrendered to him that his plan for me (no matter what it was) was the absolute best for my life - and that his plan would be accomplished no matter what - so therefore, I had nothing to worry about other than keeping my mind focused on him throughout everything.
We were a little concerned that my due date of July 1st might conflict with Jason's Board Exam on July 2nd. Our worries included - Would Jason be able to be there for the birth? Would I go into labor during the exam? Would Jason be able to concentrate during the exam knowing that I might be going into labor during it? Of course, God proved faithful yet AGAIN when I went into labor almost 39 weeks early on Sunday night - June 24th. Even though it was a little scary to begin labor - we were really excited knowing that Jason would be able to be there for the entire thing!
I will go into more detail about the actual birth in another post - but I just wanted to take this opportunity to publicly praise God for the way he was with me during the entire childbirth process. Being a first time mom, I obviously had some fear of the unknown. What would contractions feel like? How would I handle them? Would my epidural work? ect. etc. However, from the moment the labor began to the time Lucy was born, to even the recovery from the delivery, my Lord and Savior has been right there beside me. It has been SO cool to feel him so close to me. From the very beginning I made it through my contractions by praying to Jesus for strength, energy, and peace. He answered all of my prayers in such an amazing way - I will be forever grateful. At a time when I could have felt so alone - I felt just the opposite. Jesus was there through every moment of pain - comforting me and giving me the strength I needed. I rested in the fact that he knew the outcome of the delivery and that he was 100% in control of the entire situation. I felt his love and comfort surround me during those 13 hours like I never have before.
Finally - the greatest miracle of all was when she was born. When I looked at her for the first time, I saw countless answered prayers that I have prayed through my entire life. Still, every morning when I wake up and look at her, I see a living picture of the miracle of life and God's faithfulness to me. He is so good, and he is indeed a friend that sticks closer than a brother. I love my Jesus more now that I ever have and praise him for this gift of a beautiful healthy daughter that he has given to me. All I can do now is give him the praise every day for her life - something I will never come close to deserving. He is so good - I will never be able to understand. All I can do now is thank him and give Him my life.