Monday, May 11, 2009

Anticipating Arrival

"Woman in Blue Reading a Letter" by Johannes Vermeer

Okay, I admit it; I was really hoping for a Mother's Day delivery. No such luck. I know, I know; I still have thirteen days left until my due date. There's the potential that I could be pregnant into June, but I just can't bear the thought! I am way too excited to meet this little boy.

Sometimes I just sit and marvel at the fact that soon I am going to be holding my son in my arms--that he'll no longer be inside of me. I wonder what he'll look like and who he will be. How will he be like my daughter, my husband, me? What unique aspects will he bring to our little family, those pieces that are so him? What will it be like to love him on the outside? To know him in new ways as a separate, precious human being?

And, of course, there is always that shadow of fear that casts itself in small ways upon my excitement and anticipation, like a cloud that drifts overhead, blocking out the sun for only moments here and there. No, I'm not talking about labor; I've had lots of friends and family ask me about that, but the truth is, labor doesn't scare me much. Oh sure, I know it will hurt; I've been through it before--with Pitocin, no less. But, it's not frightening pain. I view it like running a marathon or performing in a very strenuous dance competition... It pushes your body to the limit, but it also gives you the most profound sense of accomplishment, of internal strength; the pain is a direct connection to God, almost like a prayer. He is so present in it.

No, the fear I am talking about is the knowledge that something could still go wrong. Only days left until birth, but what if something happens to my little boy? What if I lose him before I ever get to see his sweet face? In a culture that likes to tuck death away in an isolated, sterile little corner, it is easy to forget that babies die. My cousin lost his youngest little girl at about the same gestational age my son is now. My best friend's aunt & uncle lost their son weeks after birth. While Brian and I were attending a parents' Baptism class for our son last month, our priest was in another room, comforting a grieving couple that was supposed to be in that class with us, getting ready to Baptize their newborn child who had died suddenly and unexpectedly.

I assure you, I'm not losing sleep over all of this (though I am losing plenty of sleep thanks to typical end-of-pregnancy discomforts). I'm not living paralyzed by anxiety, but it is something I think about. And, that's a good thing. It lets me know how deeply I already love this little boy. It reminds me poignantly that I carry in my womb not a fetus but a child, my precious son. The twinges of fear give me a little poke in the soul that say, "You're a mother of two precious children; love them; take care of them." And, my soul answers back, "I will do all that I can...and then there's God."

There is God. In the waiting. In the nights of broken sleep. In the fear. In the excitement. In my impatience. In my exhaustion. In my womb and in my soul and in the soul of my son, there is God.

8 comments:

  1. i admit i was thinking of you yesterday... wondering if it would be *your* day;)

    praying for you and your little ones as you approach delivery, my dear♥

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  2. My daughter was delivered 9 days past her due date (no induction though!). On one of her overdue days, my husband and I caught an old movie on TV about Noah. My husband laughed so hard when I told him that I felt just like Noah. We'd been "building" and preparing for our little girl and now we were waiting and waiting for the water. God was so kind to us with her. We call her our holiday baby. I told my husband I was pregnant on Good Friday, we told our families on Easter, I felt her move for the first time on Father's Day, on and on, until finally she was born on Christmas Day. (Lisa)

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  3. You're right...there is God. He's all we need to remember when those niggling little doubts come creeping up on us. Your son will be here soon.

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  4. God richly Bless and comfort you!

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  5. I love your attitude! I struggled with fear a lot in my thrid and fourth prenancies. My third baby was only given a 10-15% chance of making it to term, and he has special needs. I think that greatly influenced those fears in my fourth, even though there were absolutely no problems with that one. I love the perspective you gave, and if I ever am blessed with another I hope I will remember your words! I am praying for God's perfect timing, and a safe delivery.

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  6. thinking of you today, my dear♥

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  7. I enjoyed every moment of being pregnant. I wanted my son to be born so I could hold him and to answer so many questions I had of him, and yet I wanted to stay pregnant forever! I often wonder if that feeling was God telling me I would never carry another child in my womb or if it was just my imagination.
    Anyway, God bless you and your baby.
    Cindy

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  8. Yes, there is God - we couldn't have made it through without Him!

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