This Bittersweet Season of Pregnancy

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything down.

Because for the last few months I’ve been napping almost daily, barely making it to bedtime on an empty tank of energy, and vomiting a lot.

We’re having another baby, arriving around December 22nd.

Due to my nauseating state of existence, writing has fallen to the bottom of the priority list, but now that I’ve recently turned a desperately-anticipated corner in the nausea department, my mind and heart once again have the capacity to think and feel about other things, besides getting to the toilet quickly enough.

The news of this pregnancy was not unexpected. We were “trying” (whatever that means…) – we were doing our part and trusting God to do his part in his time according to his perfect will.

We rejoice that the Lord has chosen to give us another baby. It’s a blessing beyond measure. We’re eager to welcome a precious child into our family and snuggle this cuddly little babe without end.

But it’s also very, very bittersweet.

It’s another “first” in this journey of grief. My first pregnancy since Evelyn. So it comes with a Rolodex of agonizing memories from the past and new fears about the future that I’m trying to surrender to Jesus. And being true to his character, he is faithfully, gently, lovingly walking by my side through this uncharted and sometimes scary path of faith.

In some ways, it’s similar to the fears that came with our adoption journey, but in a lot of ways it’s different.

As the pregnancy progresses, I find myself encountering fears that have a whole new weight to them now. When one of your worst fears comes true, as ours did with Evelyn, you can’t help but wonder, when will the other shoe drop? Does lightning strike twice in the same place? What if we miscarry? What if the baby is injured? What if our child is stillborn? What if we have another NICU experience? What if I die on the operating table?

And the list goes on…

At times I’ve been tempted to buy a baby doppler so that I can hear the heartbeat at home any time I feel a little anxious. And then I realized that this would be a terrible decision for my heart. Because it would become my crutch. It would become my source of comfort and peace. It would become my god.

I don’t want to trust in a machine. I want to trust in the Lord Almighty.

There are a couple of verses in Psalm 112 that have helped me surrender my fear and in its place, choose to trust God’s love – something I need to do a lot, especially lately.

1 Praise the Lord.
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who finds great delight in his commands…
7 He will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is secure, he will have no fear…

Praise God that I don’t have to live in a constant state of fear. I can trust in the Lord and find my security in him. Sometimes bad news does come. But I don’t have to be afraid. Because God will always, always take care of me. 

Years ago an old friend told me, “If you worry about it and it happens, you’ve lived through it twice. If you worry about it and it doesn’t happen, you’ve lived through it once unnecessarily.”

I don’t know what the future holds for this pregnancy. It’s possible that something heartbreaking could happen again. But I won’t let that possibility rule over me. I once heard a wise person say, “You can’t help it if a bird lands on your head. But you can keep him from building a nest there.” It’s true there are times when fearful thoughts enter my mind. Sometimes they make me cry. But I refuse to let them dictate my life – easier said than done, but still very possible. I choose to surrender them to Jesus instead. And he is faithful to bring peace and hope.

Since I learned of my pregnancy I’ve been reading Psalm 62 pretty regularly. It’s a lifeline to me in this season. Here are some snippets:

1 My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.

2 He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken…

7 My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge…

11 One thing God has spoken,
two things I have heard;
that you, O God, are strong,
12 and that you, O Lord, are loving…

There are so many things I love about this Psalm, but I especially love the fact that God is my refuge – my shelter and protection from danger or distress. I can find safety in him. And I will. Every time I’m inclined to fear or worry, I will hide in him. I will also share my fears with him because he invites me to pour out my heart to him. And he is faithful to comfort me again and again. At the end of the day, I will remember two unshakable truths about God: that he is strong and loving. I will rest in that. And by God’s grace, I’ll even be able to enjoy this pregnancy and eagerly anticipate the arrival of our fourth child.