Sometimes life goes as planned and other times it takes us down an unexpected path. The night I gave the devotional I shared in my last blog post, I began to have an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. Something was off. My period was late. It was really late!
The next morning my suspicions were verified. I was pregnant! For the first time in my life, I wasn’t immediately thrilled by the news. Less than 2 months before I had pulled out of 6 months of post partum depression, insomnia, and panic attacks. My sleep was still fragile. I had so many things I wanted to do in the months ahead–foremost among them building a relationship with the darling baby girl I’d given birth to just 9 months before.
I know for many the first few months after having a baby are a special time–hard, but special. For me, the first 6-12 months have always been terrible. I longed to bond with my babies, to have special memories of snuggles and soft cheeks. But I never could.
And now I was facing it again–way before I was ready. Way before I could handle it. The memories were just too raw. The pain was still fresh.
But God doesn’t call us to easy tasks. Remember Mary? She was asked to accept the scorn of becoming pregnant out of wedlock, of raising the Son of God, of watching him suffer and die. And she said, “Be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38).
I wish I accepted the news with her attitude. But I struggled. I struggled through the fatigue of pregnancy and the move to a new state and ministry. I struggled through the decisions facing us. How would we cope? What would we try? What if nothing worked? We’d tried so many things the previous two times, and though many things helped a little, nothing helped completely.
The night before Colin was born, my midwives (two wonderful Christian women) counseled me through my fears again. This was not Quentin. This was not Elena. This was a new little one. God is gracious and loving. He does not give us more than we can handle without His help. They reminded me again and again that I needed to let go of my fears, of my past, and trust that God would rewrite my post partum story.
And then the birth was over, and they handed me Colin Josiah. (Colin means “Victory of the people” and Josiah means “The Lord supports.”) And we bonded. I mean we bonded instantly. Do you know how amazing that was? I love my other two with my whole heart, but we never bonded instantly. It took a long time. But here I was bonding instantly with this little fighter who changed all my plans before, during, and after his pregnancy.
I’m three weeks post partum now. Things could change. I realize that. I’m at risk for the next 12 months. I have no illusions about what I may go through. But I’m not afraid any more. I’ve seen God’s faithfulness through a surprise pregnancy, a cross-country move, 10 weeks of preterm labor, a crazy birth that didn’t go at all as planned, and through the moments and days afterwards.
Having a newborn–and an 18-month old and a 4-year-old–isn’t easy, but I’m healing, I’m sleeping (when I can!), and we are making good memories as a family. We made some difficult decisions to reach this point, but I now know with certainty that we made the right decisions. There are no regrets because God has given the peace that comes when we follow His will for our lives.