I had a doctor's appointment at week 12.5 where they would do a full check-up, have my blood work results (checking for all the issues and diseases I could not pronounce), and listen to the baby's heartbeat. I was quite literally LIVING for this appointment. After this appointment I knew I could feel more secure in my pregnancy, and Jason and I planned to tell everyone then that we were pregnant.
The closer I got to my appointment, however, the crazier I became. My first trimester symptoms - the strange nausea type feeling in my stomach, sore breasts, and extreme tiredness - began to subside and instead of being thankful and thrilled, I freaked out! I'd gotten so tired of feeling sick and tired and so ready to feel normal again, that when my wish was finally granted, I wanted my symptoms back because I was afraid it meant something horrible for them to go away.
I spoke to God about all of this on a regular basis. I'd never really known how weak my faith was until I became pregnant. Surely it was not right to worry so much. I knew I was going to have to strengthen my faith if I wanted to survive this thing called motherhood, but it seemed like all I was doing was praying worried, hand-wringing prayers about the baby.
One day at work when I allowed the worry to get particularly heavy, I called Jason. His calm reassurance and faith that always seems stronger than mine made me feel better. I also e-mailed my mom and my sister, and Mom responded to me with this:
Let me just say that I think being pregnant has gotten a bad rap. You are blessed to be feeling so well but it is not unusual. I have no memories of feeling badly when I was pregnant. I was excited and happy and I felt really well. I was not fearful of losing the baby or something being wrong with it. I did not feel sick or tired or any of the stuff that some people feel. I think it is a matter of genes and health. You are healthy and happy and that means a great deal when a child is growing inside your body. All is well, do not question it...do not live in fear that something is wrong. Take each day as it comes and live in faith that this child will be healthy and happy like you. Stress is probably the worst thing that we can do to our bodies, so don't let yourself go there. Fear is a terrible thing and it robs humans of some beautiful times so don't let it get you.
I love you, dear child of mine, and when you were in my belly, I felt great!!!
The morning of my second appointment I ran with the girls and admitted to some of my crazy worries and google searches. Katie e-mailed later that morning with this:
I felt so bad about your worries today. I wanted to give you encouragement, but I am sure the good visit today will really help put your mind at ease! Let me say one thing as a caution: Don't let what might be take away from the joy of what is. You will never have a "beginning of your 2nd trimester of your 1st baby" ever again. Let yourself get excited and happy. Google is an AWFUL place to look for answers and reassurance!! I did the same thing all through my pregnancy with Nate. Look at him now!!!! Also, the worries never stop. These days, it's "I wonder if I'm making the right choice about his schooling." Soon it will be, "I hope he's careful driving the car" or "How are we going to afford college?" Worry will eat away at your joy if you let it. Just take it a day at a time.
I will be thinking and praying about you today!
Armed with this encouragement, I headed to my 12.5 week doctor's appointment to find out how I was doing. Jason met me there and we didn't have to wait long before my name was called. They took me back to listen to the heartbeat first (thank goodness) and I laid back and stared up at the ceiling as a nurse moved the doppler device over my belly. The light above me had a tile over it that looked like the sky with white clouds on a background of blue. I stared up at it as if to the Heavens and waited to hear the blessed sound of my baby's heartbeat.
And there it was. A quick, loud heartbeat that wasn't my own. I grinned at Jason. I grinned at the nurse. She held the doppler there to let us listen for a moment and relief washed over me. I said a prayer of thanks to my wonderful Father who had given me this gift and vowed to have stronger faith and trust in Him. I left my appointment with the knowledge that all was well, and I was ready to tell the WORLD my good news!
I e-mailed my girls from camp and college to share the news with them. I'd wanted to tell them face to face but our schedules are all crazy and we don't live in the same place so e-mail it was. My sweet friend, Emily Kyle, wrote me back with this:
Sweet angel. Here’s a little medical knowledge for the soul: Remember learning that energy is not created nor destroyed? Same goes with electricity, it’s always conducted on a closed circuit. Well our hearts run on a similar circuit. Electricity runs on a closed circuit that allows our SA node to fire every time our heart beats. One of the biggest medical mysteries of all time is that when we were conceived, how… out of nowhere… electricity is magically created and our heart begins to beat. This defies the laws of science. No one has ever, ever been able to explain it. Why? Because we don’t create life. God does. Every baby formed is a little medical miracle… literally. This little angel growing inside of you is there because God decided (not you) that you’re ready to be a mom. Our Lord knows you better than you know yourself… all of your strengths, your imperfections, your sin, and your weaknesses- allll of you. And in His perfect timing, He has opened your womb. He has deemed you worthy. He has declared you ready. And He has never, never, never been wrong. If we all waited until we felt like we had enough wisdom and resources to become the perfect parents, there would be no people on earth! Will you be the perfect parents? Heck no! But I’ve learned more from my parents’ imperfections than I have from their strengths. Why? Because I, too, have fallen short and have needed someone to teach me why/how to pursue holiness despite this overwhelming desire to satisfy my flesh. And oh we know there is so much freedom and satisfaction in knowing and following Christ! That’s all your sweet baby needs. I will be praying for a healthy baby and that you will be able to rest. and trust. I am so. so. so. happy for you guys! Can’t wait to snuggle that little nugget. Keep me posted on every single detail….
I felt as if God was answering my prayers and worries through the words of my dear, faithful friends and I could not have been more grateful, touched and filled with love. To be so undeserving and to receive so much well...it was overwhelming and wonderful. I looked up to the real heavens and said, "thank you" many times that day. With each new morning I am working on my faith and trust, remaining grateful for all of this, making sure to tell our amazing God just that, and to take the advice of my mom and friends.