It's on Facebook so it's fair to announce it to the world:
Thursday night, Jason and I found out that I'm pregnant!!
Speaking of Facebook, here's how we announced it to the world:
Dear Uterus Again [TRAGEDY. THE LINK IS DEAD. SOB.]
So many thoughts! I'll do my best to keep them organized and... well, I'll aim for brevity. We'll see how that goes :)
I've been wanting a baby so badly for about the last year. It kind of hit me out of nowhere. I have prayed and prayed about it, but felt like I definitely needed to wait until at least next March, once I would be 18 months out from my gastric bypass surgery, to start trying. Jason and I have been pretty careful, but we miscalculated how close I was to ovulating and we took a risk, and then again the next night, and finally I looked at my lovely fertility app on my iPhone and realized that we hit two days and then one day before I ovulated. In other words, if we were TRYING to get pregnant, those would be the days to try and make a baby.
I struggled some at first with guilt, because I definitely want a baby, but getting pregnant this early out (I'll be 10 months post-op on Friday) is high-risk for the baby and myself. I'm still right around 250 pounds and I still malabsorb vitamins, nutrients, fat, and calories. I felt like if I were pregnant (this was during those LOOONG two weeks of waiting to find out) that I should feel bad, like I cheated, and if anything goes wrong during the pregnancy then it would be karma, a punishment of some sort, for not waiting on God.
Jesus quickly shot down those lies. Wanting to get pregnant, even hoping that I would every month (that the barrier would break was something I would hope for every single time we would have sex), isn't sin. Manipulating to get it would be sin, but even then I can repent and be cleansed and forgiven, but God still decides if a baby is made or not and he's not in the business of punishing me. A baby is a sweet blessing, and while I must be diligent to be ultra-on top of my eating, fluids, exercise, and especially my [uber intense] vitamin regime, no possible future complications are punishment. My abba Father loves me and he already loves this baby inside of me even more than I do, which is hard to comprehend.
This leads me into the second major theme- I took a pregnancy test last Tuesday, one day after my period was due. I thought it was negative (I didn't know at the time that the faintest line in the world that showed up was actually a tiny amount of the pregnancy hormone) and I was devastated. I'm not one to typically react this way, but Jason came home to find me in my bathrobe, in the dark, sobbing on our bed because when I got out of the shower I was so devastated that I couldn't get dressed.
But then my period still didn't come. Wednesday and all day Thursday were wrought with many prayers to God that he would just give me an answer. I actually said, pretty much verbatim, to my husband and a close friend who brought me a pregnancy test, that I only needed to know and then I'd be fine. I just needed that answer and then I'd stop fussing.
Once that second line showed up on Thursday night I had my answer... and a completely new, infinitely larger, set of questions and worries. I had mild cramping, and I thought that any cramping this early means impending miscarriage. I found myself immediately building up walls, afraid to hope or truly get excited or even attach myself to this baby because it might already be dying and leaving my body. Or maybe those cramps were an ectopic pregnancy- would I choose to let a doctor kill my baby? Or would I take the risk of my own life and stubbornly refuse to put to death a life inside of me that God created? Will I hold this baby alive in my arms in March 2011 (my due date is March 3, for the record) or will I first hold him or her one day in heaven?
God has been so faithful. I can hardly do him justice, but I'll try. First, a major theme of his redemption the last 6 months has been that his love for me is so all-consuming, so pure, and so big that he desires me to stop protecting myself from feeling hurt. He wants me to allow myself to hope, even if that means that there is hurt and disappointment later. He wants me to feel the pain when I am hurt right now, to stop hiding and deflecting when hurt from my past threatens to make itself known to my heart.
To be clear- God is not trying to hurt me. But life runs the gamut of emotions, and Jesus himself exemplifies best being present and feeling those emotions. From complete joy to utter anguish, Jesus lived in the moment and felt his emotions before the face of God. I tend to think I need to one up Jesus and not hope too much so it won't hurt later, and to weasel out of hurt in the present.
In fact, the looooong two weeks of waiting carried the theme of turning to Jesus and crying out to receive him, his character, no matter the outcome of possibly being pregnant, as opposed to relying on logic. My tendency was to logically convince myself why God would provide if I were pregnant since I was scared of the financial implications, and to list out the reasons why it would be for the best that I not have a baby until later if I weren't pregnant. Neither thing is wrong if lived out as worship, but since neither included God himself, but were purely my plans to cope with anticipated "negative" emotions, it was sinful. I kept praying that Jesus would be my hope, no matter what, and that he would put to death my desire to logically manage my emotions so I could feel safely protected from them.
Well, that's another Ha! moment because pregnancy is already putting that prayer into opportunity for much practice. I realized that, while I am being as diligent as possible to care for my body and my baby, I have absolutely no control over whether this baby miscarries or not, or has health problems, or is born perfectly healthy in 8 months. I can pray that Jesus would allow me to meet and hold my alive and healthy baby next March, and that s/he would live a long and healthy life and that Jason and I would be able to raise him/her to know and love Jesus, but I can't affect the outcome.
God is in control, and I can talk the talk of trusting him, but every time my uterus cramps (it just must have a lot of adjusting it's doing down there), my faith is put to the test. Will I worry that it really is a miscarriage? And pray only to God as my idol who won't let that happen? Or will I turn to Jesus, cry out for his presence, ask in faith that his will would include a healthy baby and that nothing is going wrong, but ultimately worship him and desire his presence over any outcome with regard to my circumstances? I can honestly say that I have been continually turning to him- sometimes more quickly than others- but nonetheless Jesus is my hope.
That brings me to my final point- I will be 5 weeks on Thursday. It's very early. My "What to Expect When..." app on my iPhone said not to gush publicly, because it's too early and that I need to wait until it's safe.
Is it ever really safe? I mean, statistically, there is less chance of miscarriage if I wait 7-9 more weeks to tell people. But, first of all, I would die. There's just no way I can keep it in- I'm bursting with joy and so is Jason and we can't hold that inside of us! We need to rejoice and gush and bubble over with the excitement and hope we have for our legacy that Jesus is building right now inside of me, something we've prayed for and prepared ourselves for almost our entire marriage!
Also, though, who and what am I really protecting if I wait? Now, to be very clear, I am in no way saying that I think everyone has to do things how we are. Not at all. Every couple must do as their conscience leads, and if they know and love Jesus, seek his desire for them.
That said, if Jesus takes this baby home to heaven before s/he is born, I will be devastated. This is our first child, no matter what. My deep conviction is that I want to glorify God in all that I do, and part of that means that if this baby is miscarried, I would want to seek Jesus for what it would look like to glorify his name in sharing his presence to me through that pain. But, for us, it just seems cruel if we know for weeks that I am pregnant and then the first that people hear of our baby is that it's dead. I feel like that is saying, "We didn't love you enough to share our joy with you but we'll share our pain with you." I just can't do that, and I can't live that way.
I remember stumbling across Molly Piper's blog a few months ago. Her story includes a beloved baby girl, stillborn at full term. She carefully let Jesus lead her in what it looked like to walk through her grief on her blog. And my heart broke for her. I remember crying for her pain, aching so deep that my heart twisted within me. But then I read that God, who is good and gracious and kind, poured out his blessing on their sweet family and she's now pregnant with twins. One of those twins is a precious little girl, and while the boy is just as wanted and loved, the daughter is a sweet breeze of grace to fulfill a desire in Molly's heart.
Right now, as my heart wrestles to worship Jesus and rest in his will for my baby and this pregnancy, Molly Piper's willingness to share and point to Jesus in her suffering and her joy has ministered to me. I hope that my willingness to do the same will have a similar affect- point people to Jesus, to magnify his name, and make his renown greater, and to minister to them in whatever they are going through.
Random aside: our closest friends know, but I'm at least holding back on the name until we know if it's a boy or a girl. Though I have prayed for twins nearly every day for the better part of a decade, so maybe they could be a boy and a girl! Still not telling 'til October, though :)
For now, s/he shall be known as MiniMoose, since I frequently call my husband Moose (because he's huge. 6'4" and 230 pounds of a gigantic mass of man!)