Prayerfully Expecting: The First Month

Prayerfully Expecting: The First Month

Date of conception: June 9, 2007

Estimated due date: March 2, 2008

Date I found out about my pregnancy: June 26, 2007

Where I was when I found out about my pregnancy: Home, at our new house

How I knew I was pregnant: NFP charting confirmed by pregnancy test

How I shared the wonderful news with the new father: I don’t really recall. I think I just said, I’m pregnant!

His reactions and responses: Again I don’t really recall. Happy. We don’t tend to be very dramatic, I guess.

How I told my family the wonderful news: Called my parents, first dad then mom. Tried to call my sister, played phone tag with her for almost a week because she was visiting friends in New Mexico. Played phone tag with my brother Tim as well, he’d run over his cell phone and was only receiving calls intermittently. Haven’t talked to Stephen yet, but assume mom and dad have told him.

Put it on the blog and everyone in Dom’s family knew immediately. (We didn’t actually post it on the blog until we’d called my parents and his mom. Then he caught up with his brothers and sisters and his dad over the next few days.)

Their reactions and responses: Happy, excited. Promised prayers. No one was really surprised. Several noted that they’d been expecting it about now.

What it means to me to be chosen by God to carry the gift of this precious child within my womb:
I am very conscious of how blessed I am. Of course, when I was pregnant with Isabella, I spent a lot of time meditating on the mystery of life, of God’s wonderful gift and how much of a blessing it is to be a co-creator with God. I thought I knew then how fragile life is, I was so scared for the entire nine months, worrying that something might happen. Every time I heard her heartbeat, I breathed a sigh of relief. I never took her health and a safe delivery for granted. Until the moment I heard her and saw her, I was afraid of losing her, though always trusting God that whatever happened would be his will. What is different about this time?

Twice before I’ve greeted the miracle of new life with awe and wonder. But this time even more so. After my miscarriage and the cancer scare, thinking I might never have another child, I realize in a new way how much it is in God’s hands and how great a blessing a child is. I’ve stared hard into the darkness and faced my fears and realized that God was there even in the darkness, in the midst of loss. I learned a little more what it is to trust him even when I could not see any reason for hope.

Also, of course, having Isabella. I know much more now what it is to be a mother. A whole year of her and each day I’ve celebrated the miracle of her life. At the same time, the new life inside me is just as much of a mystery. Who is this person? What will he or she be like? How will this baby be like Bella and how will this baby be different? Will this baby be more like Dom or more like me? The same questions apply; the difficulty now is not in imagining the reality of a baby; but in imagining a baby that is not the same as Bella.

Also, I know now that I may not get to hold this baby, that we may not meet face to face in this lifetime. I miss my baby Francis and though I trust God’s love and mercy to care for all my children, I know what loss is. In some ways, then I am actually less scared than I was with Bella. Then, it was a vague, formless fear. Now, I am not afraid. I am not nervous. I am better able to trust in God’s plan for me, for this child, for our family. I know that his love will sustain me no matter what happens and I am blessed to be surrounded by so much love, so many people already praying for us, for this new life.

My worries now are much more mundane: how am I going ot cope with pregnancy when I also have an increasingly active toddler and am missing having Dom’s constant presence, who is now working outside of the home. At the same time, I know God will take care of us. So I try not to worry. I’ll manage somehow.

And did I mention how excited I am? How much I am anticipating a new baby! All the same baby dreams I had when I was expecting Isabella, only more so. I can’t wait. I’m definitely much more excited than I was going into the last pregnancy. Then, it never quite seemed real. I never really dwelt on it and didn’t spend much time thinking about the baby, wondering about the baby. Maybe somehow I knew. Or maybe God in his tender mercy allowed my mind to be preoccupied. I don’t know. But it does seem to me somehow providential. The miscarriage was hard, but not the emotional blow I know it could have been. And I still don’t understand all the complexities of my feelings about it. I can’t put into words my continual surprise at how much it didn’t hurt, how the loss isn’t as bad as I expected it would be or as I know it could be. I attribute much of that to prayer as well.

I’d add that’s one reason why I’ve announced my pregnancy so early. I didn’t with Bella. I waited and waited, telling only family and close friends. But last time and this time I just wanted to tell everyone right away. And I was so glad when I miscarried that I had because I know the prayers of all my blog readers and Dom’s are so much of what sustained us during that time. And I am so glad again to be able to share my joy and to have all those prayers accompanying me on this journey.

(I should add, for those who didn’t see my first post, that the preceding prompts are from the book Prayerfully Expecting, which I will be using to journal my pregnancy. Read about it here.)

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