on pregnancy and babies and growing our family and such

IMG_0518 something about pregnancy makes my heart and mind pregnant with thoughts. all the thoughts. so many thoughts. lately, my heart has been a bit heavy, actually. burdened. struggling. wondering. worrying. just, heavy.

i hold pregnancy as a sacred thing. it is fleeting for some. illusive for others. and ends suddenly or tragically for far too many. i know it does not always come easy. i hear story after story of infertility, semi-infertililty, or just, extending waiting and hoping and praying. how my heart throbs for those families. for those who long to carry a baby in their belly and get to hold that baby in their arms. for those who have tried and tried. for those who endure chemical pregnancy after chemical pregnancy. little flickers of hope in the form of a plus sign only to have it vanish days later. a cruel tease. for those who become pregnant only to see the image of a little form without a heartbeat. for those who have to take medication after medication. shots and appointments and creams and calendar watching and surgeries. the unromantic mechanics of it all. for those who have experienced a stillbirth. and for those who lose their little one shortly after birth or not long after - for whatever reason. such tragedies.

i know that what i am experiencing is a miracle. a common, everyday miracle that millions experience but that is anything but ordinary. i do not take it lightly.

we have had such an easy-peasy go of things when it comes to growing our family. it just seems to happen for us. right away, just as we "planned". and i do not take that lightly. and when i find myself complaining about how i had to wait a whole week to take a pregnancy test and then a whole two minutes for the result and then another eight weeks to hear baby's heartbeat and then all the way to nineteen weeks to see the baby and find out the gender...i remind myself that not everyone gets to experience that kind of waiting. the happy and calm and peaceful and fun kind. the easy kind. no, many upon many experience the painful and disappointing kind of waiting. the kind that goes on week after week, month after month, year after year. being let down and crushed and then trying again and hoping again. that's some serious faith right there. how i admire those people. the ones who wait.

i know so many families that are waiting right now. and my spirit is heavy for them. at times, i even feel a strange form of guilt creep in. why me? why us? why now? why right away? what about them? why not them? why me? why us? here we are just deciding to have a baby and we get to have some fun and then, bam. baby! and an easy pregnancy and a healthy baby, no less. we didn't have to worry about injections or visits to specialists. we didn't have to try and try and try and try. we didn't have to pay tens of thousands of dollars and do home studies and paperwork and hope that we are "approved" and then hope for the right baby at the right time. nothing about growing our family has been tough or even, unpleasant. and sometimes, i feel guilty about that. i mean, i am grateful to God every single day for that but, i feel burdened by it too. undeserving. surely, they should have a baby. they love babies! they are so good with babies - they are baby people. they have been praying and praying. they are faithful. they have been trying for so long. they have lost so much...isn't it time for a win? why me? why us? why not them? i want so badly to see friends and family and sweet acquaintances on social media get pregnant on their first "try". to have successful, healthy, and easy pregnancies. to enjoy a beautiful birth and take home a healthy baby. and to get to have that baby for many many many years. unfortunately, that isn't always the way things go. people struggle to conceive. people are not able to conceive. there is loss and pain. there are complications and malformations and mutations. i don't understand it all. not even in the slightest. and it makes me angry and so sad. and so, i take it to God. i lift up my worries and frustrations. i pray for these beloved families by name. i approach the throne of grace and ask for things that only God can accomplish. for miraculous conceptions. for babies after loss. for healing. for timely and affordable and smooth and successful adoptions. i bring these requests - these precious lives - before the One who sees all and shows radical love and binds up the broken-hearted. may a great work be done.

and may my heart also be encouraged that it is okay to celebrate and be joyful for what we have. knowing that each healthy pregnancy and healthy baby can give hope to those who are struggling. oh, may my family and children be beacons of hope and reflections of His grace and goodness. that even though it seems like the terrible, one-in-a-million scenarios are happening all around us, there is so much that is good. may the good inspire a renewed spirit of anticipation in many. may the struggling ones and waiting ones and grieving ones find peace and be reinvigorated. His works are marvelous. God is on His throne and yet, He intricately forms our microscopic parts. He is awesome and does awesome things for us.

each has our own story, unique ways that God wants to twist and turn our tales for our good and His glory. and that is a beautiful thing. i am grateful for my story. i praise God that He has ordained to add to our family. first with elinor and then with this new life still being "knitted together" inside me. i know that i will face other kinds of challenges in my life that will serve to richen my testimony and build my faith. my struggles may not be your struggles just as yours are not mine. and i pray that He will equip me for whatever lies ahead and allow me to enjoy what He has for me now. i pray that i will draw inspiration and encouragement from watching loved ones endure trials and tribulations and come out on the other end more glistening and refined. victorious and softened and sweetened. and i pray that my story, with all the ugly and tough and beautiful, will speak to others, that they may be strengthened.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

psalm 139: 13-16


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our healthy, active, and entertaining bébé. fearfully and wonderfully made.