I am interrupting my rebirth series to record these moments: waiting to go into labor and, as WordPress has informed me, my blog’s one-year anniversary.
I haven’t blogged much about my pregnancy. I’ve kind of gone underground in the last month on the whole thing, here and on Facebook. I keep getting text messages asking, “Is he coming yet?” I have some very anxious family members who “can’t wait” until he’s here. In fact, judging by my lack of comment on the topic, they seem even more excited than I am. What gives?
One thing that has kept me from writing on the topic is fear. Baby Sam is not here yet, and labor and delivery is a risky thing. Not to mention that newborns are pretty fragile. When I used to talk about having kids, as I prefer to do with most things, I focused on cerebral concepts (parenting philosophies), not materialistic details (car seats, breast pumps, umbilical cord care, ec.). Now, with my due date less than a week away, all I can think of is the details—and I feel overwhelmed.
Yes, I’ve read a good deal on pregnancy and newborn care, and I’ve been working every day to ready my house—“nesting,” I think it’s called—but these activities have not really made me feel better. Every day lately I have been faced with the fact that I lack practice and know-how for the material details of life. I feel suddenly estranged from those things that have recently defined me—teaching, writing, leading (various church groups)—and it’s a scary feeling. Rather than burden the blogosphere with my worries, like the Virgin Mary, I decided to ponder these things in my heart. (I wonder if she worried about breaking her baby?)
Another reason I’ve avoided too much “baby talk” is out of respect for the women I know who are struggling with infertility. It seems unfair that I get to have this experience and they don’t. I feel like it’s even more unfair because I haven’t always wanted children. Some women know their entire lives that they want children, while I spent most of my twenties denying the desire. Shouldn’t the women who’ve always wanted kids be entitled to them, first? On the other hand, is it because my heart was so hard in this area that God decided I needed them (and the other ladies could go without)? (Or another thought: Was I formerly in denial?)
It’s probably not a comfort to the ladies struggling with this issue, but I make sense of their infertility like this: these ladies are already healthy in this area, this natural desire to nurture. I wasn’t. Maybe those hard-hearted of us (and overly cerebral, egg-head-ish types) need children more than the already well-adjusted, family types. I’ve thought about this a lot, and I’ve debated posting that hypothesis, scared I would offend or minimize someone’s pain. I’d be curious to get your thoughts in the comments. I don’t understand God’s ways, except I believe he allows bad things (like infertility) to happen, he doesn’t cause them.
A final reason for not blogging about baby is that I’m exhausted right now. My body is exhausted from carrying the little dude, and my mind is exhausted trying to wrap itself around how my life is going to change when he comes. With limited energy, it seemed smart to use the little I had to get things ready as much as possible during these last days, materially speaking.
I know it doesn’t sound like it, but I am very excited for baby Sam to arrive! I recently had my first “good” dream of his birth: he was cute, had a full head of hair, and he looked like my hubby—all things I expect, after seeing our 3D sonogram. I’ve imagined holding him in my arms and I want to cry for happiness. I smile at the thought of the three of us becoming a family. I long to inhale his baby scent and feel his smooth skin. I look forward to slowing down and becoming less mechanical and more of a person. I praise God for blessing me with a baby—and I will strive to be a good steward of what God has given me.
Perhaps the most comforting thought amidst these last-minute hormones and unknowns is the knowledge that Sam isn’t really mine—he is a gift on loan from God—and God is the only one who can sustain him. It’s not up to me to be a perfect mother; I’ll just do my best to follow God’s lead.
On that note, it should be an interesting second year on this blog, full of many firsts and, I’m sure, many mistakes—but always lots of learning and growth. Here’s to one good year behind me, and an exciting year ahead!
Super post; I enjoyed it immensely. Hope you’ll soon be smelling that sweet baby scent as you hold your baby in your arms.
Thanks Kate! I hope it will be soon, too. I will post the news when it happens!
You are such an amazing person Lindsey, and I know that is why God has blessed you with a baby. 🙂 I got tears in my eyes reading the infertility part. Just that fact that it was on your mind shows what a thoughtful person you are. Most women, about to start labor, wouldn’t have given women who struggle with infertility a second thought. I am very happy for you and will pray that all goes well!
Sarah, wow, thanks for the beautiful comment, which also brought tears to my eyes. I send the “amazing person” compliment right back at you. I read your Christmas letter updates and don’t know how you do it all; you are an amazing lady! (And I really enjoy those letters, if I haven’t told you.) Thanks so much for your prayers; sending one up for you today, too!
Lindsey, fear of the unknown is normal, and there is so much in your life right now that is unknown. However, there’s a saying isn’t there: God gives us only what we can handle at any given time. If you weren’t fearful, worried, hopeful, excited, on an emotional hormonal rollercoaster, I’d be a lot more concerned. The first is always terrifying. Be sure to have your mom help you, and your mother-in-law (great bonding opportunity!). I think you’ll be just fine. Cinda
Thanks for the encouraging words, Cinda. You’re right: God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, and what I’m feeling is pretty normal. It helps to connect with others and get the stress out, though. Thankfully, I am blessed with not one, but three great mothers: my biological mother, my mother-in-law, and my step-mother. Two of them live 1,000 miles away, granted, but they are within a phone call’s reach. Thanks for reading!
I’ve been meaning to comment on this for a while….kept getting busy. Just wanted to say thank you for your sensitivity to those of us struggling. By no means do I think that you should refrain from posting about it if you want to, but thank you for even just being aware and being sensitive. That is huge, and honestly, it means so much and it does take the sting out of it. I had a former youth group girl who knows about my struggle, and she private messaged me on FB before announcing it, and honestly, that made a huge difference. I probably would have been bummed if I just saw the post, but just knowing she cared and remembered, I really do sincerely feel joy. And I feel the same for you .God is sovereign. He knows what He is doing .He knows all reasons why it is right and good for you to be having this baby now. Enjoy every second. We’ll still be here waiting to greet Baby Sam when he arrives. xo
Kate, so good to hear from you. I definitely had you in mind when I wrote that. Reading your blog has been a blessing to me, to make me more sensitive to women in your situation. Since I didn’t always want kids, I couldn’t always understand the struggle with infertility (I always just thought adoption was a good option for infertile couples). But I realize how misguided I was, and now I can’t imagine the sense of loss for those who want a (biological) baby and can’t have one. Still praying for you. Baby Sam has arrived, and he is hard work (hence why the blog has slipped in the last two weeks), but also a joy! Hoping to post about it today or tomorrow. Blessings to you, and thanks for the warm wishes!