“The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” Psalm 118:14
Pregnancy #2 has been very different from pregnancy #1 thus far. One of the most prominent differences is my trembling heart. With Jeshuah, as soon as I was pregnant, I knew I was going to hold him in my arms and floated through pregnancy with complete confidence that he would be born healthy. Those first weeks of pregnancy were filled with anticipation and excitement (and major morning sickness!). I never once thought we may not hear a heartbeat at our 10 week appointment. I didn’t wonder what we might find out at the ultrasound–other than the gender! I wasn’t concerned about his birth or complications we may face after his birth. I had an overwhelming sense of peace throughout the whole thing.
This time has been very different. Maybe it is because of so much loss in my family so recently. I am very aware of the negative possibilities this time–they seem very real to me. Maybe it is because, now that I know what motherhood is like, I am preemptively worrying over the things I am now aware could be a concern. Maybe it is because I have felt so great this pregnancy and was instantly so sick with Jeshuah. And so many people say it’s a good “sign” to be sick these first weeks. Each day, I wake wondering if I might lose the baby today. So when I started experiencing some bleeding last week, my heart sunk and I thought, “This is it; I might be losing the baby.”
The doctor ordered some bloodwork to check my beta count yesterday and then again tomorrow. She said if this is a “healthy pregnancy,” those numbers should double. So the next couple of days we are waiting for a phone call—and that phone call will really give us a very good idea of whether I will carry this baby to term or not. I wasn’t expecting to have that knowledge for a few more weeks, and it is rather unsettling to know that we could soon have an idea of whether I may miscarry this baby or not.
It’s true. I do not have the same calm, peaceful, confident feeling that I will hold this baby in my arms. I am battling a barrage of “what ifs” every day. I feel an awareness of the reality that things could not progress the way we would hope, and yet that anxiety is accompanied by a quiet, supernatural calm at the same time. It is rather difficult to explain, I guess, but I think it is just an awareness that, no matter what happens, God is good. I know grief could lie ahead of us in this, but life is full of grief, and I know we will experience the consequence of a fallen, sinful world for our whole lives here, however that may manifest itself.
But that doesn’t change God’s character. No matter what circumstances he brings into our lives, he is good. He does all things well. He does all for his glory, and that is my heart’s desire. In the words of that wonderful ancient hymn, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.” Those beta results do not equal my hope or my despair. I dare not look to Thursday’s phone call and hope in a positive answer. If the answer is not good, does that change who God is and who I am in him? No! And if I put my hope in the ideal that this will be a “healthy pregnancy,” where does that leave me if something still goes wrong? If our baby is born and we encounter problems, where does that leave our hope? If Jeshuah doesn’t turn out to be “normal” and “healthy,” as we are encouraged to believe, do our lives fall apart? I pray not, because I pray that our hope is not in the outcome of these circumstances but in Christ alone.
Last night, as we were getting ready to pray before bed, Stephen said “God has created our little one, and he created her specifically for his glory.” As he said that, an amazement washed over me as I envisioned God shaping and molding, knitting together our little “lentil” (as she is currently sized!) and placing her inside of me to grow. But even as he did these things, he has a purpose for her life—even if it ends this week, next month, or next year. God created her for his purposes for his glory. What a beautiful, comforting, awe-inspiring truth!
Now that I can hope in! That I can rejoice in, no matter the circumstance. That God is good and his will will be done to accomplish his glory. This is the prayer of my heart. May God’s grace bring it about.