Being Pregnant is Fun! Who Knew?

Well, I think lots of people know that, but I never expected it to be fun. I've been thinking about this a lot lately and haven't written about it yet, so here you go.

I think one of the worst things about miscarriage is that it turns you into a paranoid, anxious freak. My own personal experience and exposure to others' initial reactions to their tragedies has provided a lot of support for this hypothesis. The "freak" part came in for me because being anxious and depressed all the time felt very strange and unfamiliar. I'd dealt with depression over loss before, but the anxiety and the intensity of my feelings made me feel like a stranger to myself. Aside from anecdotal evidence, studies quoted by Darci Klein in To Full Term... determined that increased depression and anxiety typically plaque women who've suffered a miscarriage for up to one year following the event. After losing Speck, I was devastated by the thought that from then on, any pregnancy would be scary and hard. I worried that I'd always be worried about losing the baby. The first question I asked everyone who had been through it too was, "How could you do it again?" They all talked about how it was scary and required lots of faith. Some of them had to take a while before they were emotionally able to try it again.

My purpose in writing all that, though, is not to dredge up the bad feelings, but to simply set the stage to communicate how amazing and God-given my joy and peace about things are now. I was scared all through my first trimester and through my second, up until the moment I saw Babytown wriggling in my belly. I suppose that an unbeliever could say that my feelings naturally improved once I had a large body of evidence to suggest that Spud is not at any risk. However, all good gifts come from the Lord, and the only reason I can rejoice in that body of evidence is because He blessed us both with health. Some people assume that health is the default, and that bad things only happen as exceptions. Now, I'm not being pessimistic, and I know that in this country, health really is somewhat of a default. But, in my life, I've seen God do the hard thing to me enough times that I don't assume that there is any default but the will of the Father, and I can't predict that. I've also always enjoyed copious undeserved blessings from God (and, really, I think everything that happens to me is a blessing from him even if I can't understand it because he has promised to prosper and not harm me, and everything works out for my good.) Anyway, I think you get my point.

I am LOVING being pregnant right now. At least for me, the second trimester has been the magical time all my books say it is. My energy is much improved (though I still have my moments of exhaustion), he's moving all around, I can eat what I want without feeling sick (though, the heartburn is starting to creep in), and I'm not too big yet but still feel cutely pregnant. It's great! I'm so thankful to be enjoying all this so much. I know that God is all of his attributes to the fullest at every moment, but I'm only able to see glimmers of his character at any time. I'm grateful to be seeing and feeling his gentleness right now. This might be the first time I'm really consciously seeing that this GOOD thing is from him and for my good. It's easier for me to see how the hard things are from him and for my good. I think he's trying to make me a more thankful person. I'm praying that it will lead to me becoming more gracious and humble. I want to be able to feel as consciously thankful for my status in Christ at every moment in the way that he's made me able to feel consciously thankful every moment for my status as a healthy pregnant woman. It would be so cool to feel the stirrings of the Holy Spirit and bless God for them every time in the way that I can feel the little stirrings of my baby.

Hmmm, that makes me think about the differences between the way I have "listened" for my baby and the way that I listen for the Spirit. I have to say that I've been much more diligent in trying to feel my baby than I ever am in discerning the Spirit. I read books about pregnancy almost every day, and I am constantly spending time doing nothing but focusing on the movement in my belly. Sometimes, I'll just lay quietly and focus on sensing every movement from Spud that I can. I don't sit that still in prayer or meditation! And, I'll confess: I do not read my Bible everyday. This observation probably seems obvious, but I think that this analogy has just occurred to me for the first time. I shouldn't be surprised, and am not, because the means of grace have always been taught as the way to be closer to God. I'm always reminded of a line from a confession that we use at church pretty often, "I have been anxious and troubled by many things but have neglected the things that belong to my peace." "AMEN!" I always think every time I read that line.

Well, praise God for healthy babies, fun 2nd trimesters, the means of grace, and his grace to sanctify us to the end!

Kari in the PI!

Spud Likes to Bake