Two and a half weeks ago, I found out I was pregnant for the second time in my life. I was surprised at how excited I was over this unplanned pregnancy, but couldn’t quite get rid of a nagging concern in the back of my head.
When I had our first son, I had endured a very difficult pregnancy that ended in a pre-term emergency cesarean birth for my son. Only by the grace of God was my child born healthy, though drastically underweight.
Throughout the first two trimesters of my son’s pregnancy, I was horribly sick. “Morning sickness” plagued me all day, every day. At the worst of it, I was getting sick 5 and 6 times a day; I lost 8 pounds in my first trimester, which may not seem like much, but I started my pregnancy at 115 pounds, so losing 8 pounds was essentially 7% of my body weight. Around the beginning of my third trimester, the “morning sickness” waned, though I still continued to get sick a couple times a week until my pregnancy was nearly over.
At that point, I thought I could relax for a couple months until I got to meet my sweet little boy. Unfortunately, that was when other problems came to light. To make a long story short, my placenta had stopped functioning and my child was essentially starving to death in my womb. After a whirlwind of events, my son was taken from my womb in my 35th week. A little more than a month early, my little man came out weighing a meager 3lbs8oz. He was tiny. There wasn’t an ounce of fat on him, but he miraculously came out perfectly healthy. We were able to bring him home at ten days old and were so grateful to God for His mercy when we came so very close to losing our baby boy.
When everything was said and done, I was told by the doctors that while we knew that my placenta had failed, they didn’t know why; because they didn’t know why, they didn’t know if I would have this problem with future pregnancies or not. For years, I have secretly dreaded another pregnancy. When people would ask when we were going to grow our family, I would laugh it off and say, “not anytime soon,” or “it’s in God’s hands,” while inside I prayed I would not have to ever endure anything like that again.
However, it really was in God’s hands and here I sit, pregnant again. The joy I first felt with the positive test was quickly replaced by nausea. The morning sickness had set in even sooner than the first pregnancy and was quickly escalating to the heights of the first. Over the span of two weeks, I had already lost my appetite, multiple meals and 2.5 pounds.
By this past Friday evening, after getting sick for the 10th time in less than 48 hours, I was a mess. The nagging concern that had been in the back of my head become a screaming fear I couldn’t quiet. What if it’s happening again? What if I can’t carry full term? What if I have to have another c-section? What if this baby isn’t fully developed upon early delivery? What if this pregnancy isn’t the part of the 3% that is born underweight but the much larger percent that doesn’t survive this complication?
These thoughts made a repetitive chorus in my head, distracted only by the occasional cry to God for His mercy to not make me go through this again. Then, yesterday morning, as I was lying on the couch, crippled by nausea, I suddenly had a change in my thoughts. Even if I had to endure another pregnancy like that, or worse, is in not still in God’s hands?
The conviction hit hard. I had professed trusting in God, but in the secret places in my heart, I had allowed worry to push out the trust. I had allowed my fears to push out the truth the God does not change with my circumstances. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, regardless of what occurs with this pregnancy. He knew before I was pregnant exactly how this pregnancy would play out and He chose to place this life in my womb.
“Children are an heritage of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a gift.” Psalm 127:3
How ungrateful of me to not accept this gift with open hands, but with fear and trepidation. What if it’s happening again? God is in control. What if I can’t carry full term? God is in control. What if I have to have another c-section? God is in control. What if the baby isn’t fully developed upon early delivery? God is in control. What if this pregnancy isn’t the part of the 3% that is born underweight but the much larger percent that doesn’t survive this complication? God is in control.
Late yesterday afternoon, the nausea gave way to an appetite. Today, I am feeling well again. Maybe prayers have been answered and the “morning sickness” has passed, maybe it’s just a break before another round of illness, maybe I will endure the rest of my pregnancy without complications, maybe entirely different complications will arise this pregnancy. However, all the “maybe’s” in the world won’t change the one thing I can put my trust in: God is in control.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7