The fact that I’m pregnant after almost twelve years of infertility still shocks me every morning.
I wake up, move to stand, and groan a bit because my hips ache like I spent too long horseback riding, and then the steady thump of this tiny baby’s fists or feet cause my breath to catch hard.
There’s a baby, my mind says in surprise. A real live baby that I’ve watched on ultrasound screens and listened to the heartbeat and I can feel moving inside me.
Sometimes I ask my husband, “Is this actually real?” Just to make sure it isn’t another dream.
I’ve dreamed about babies for over a decade you know, and always woke up with sorrow lacing my heart. Now the sorrow is washed in hope.
All the silly, uncomfortable pregnancy things are pure delight around here.
The whole family laughs as my belly is rounding. Almost every day my husband or daughter exclaim about how adorable this growing baby bump is.
The random bits of nausea that still visit from time to time leave us shaking our heads and smiling at each other. “Silly baby,” my husband will say, “be nice to mama.” And the big kids will giggle.
When swollen feet left me sitting with them propped up for periods of time, the older kids used it as an excuse to come snuggle next to me and talk about whatever was on their minds. “I’m not glad your feet swell,” my daughter said one day, “but I like that it means we have a baby coming.”
The all-too-often bathroom breaks are a family joke.
The times when I fall asleep in the middle of the afternoon make everyone tease me relentlessly. “Oh, let her be,” daddy will say, “her body is working much harder than ours right now.” Then the children will help with dinner or dishes so I can rest more.
It’s not all smiles and excitement, of course. Both our children came from failed adoptions, from families that couldn’t keep them because the extreme trauma couldn’t be sustained with safety in the homes they were placed in, so fear sometimes runs rampant in our house. What if Mom and Dad won’t keep us now that they’re having a baby? What if the baby takes my place? What if?
We’re doing lots of snuggling around here. Lots of talk about how this is “our baby”, not “mom and dad’s baby” and about the position siblings have in a baby’s life.
And then, on my side, there are still the scars left from the rough places in my own story. The reality that even though this seems perfectly beautiful, I know there’s nothing I can do to protect myself from heartache.
I know firsthand that babies die.
That moments that look like miracles sometimes end in suffering.
That there is no promise that I’ll be protected from more loss.
I’ve realized how easy it would be to walk through these months of pregnancy with my heart laced in fear. To panic every time the baby doesn’t move for a period of time. To feel anxious before every prenatal appointment, every test, every question from the doctor. To worry about delivery and the health of the baby and a dozen other things that attack when I let my guard down.
But I know a few other things too.
I know my hope can’t be in the fulfillment of the dream of bearing a child—it has to be centered in who Jesus is, because He is the only safe place that won’t ever fail.
And yet, I’m learning the beauty and joy of this new experience at the same time. I’m gripping tight to truth and quieting my mind to questions.
The truth is that I’m carrying a baby after almost 12 years of infertility.
The truth is that I have ultrasound pictures and baby kicks.
The truth is that God worked a miracle, just like I always wondered if He would.
The truth is that no matter what, God is good.
He was before and He will be in the future.
There isn’t a neat, buttoned-up end to this part of my story. At least not yet. It’s still open-ended. We still don’t know what will happen, who will live, who will follow Christ, who will find joy, who will be crushed under the weight of sorrow, who will trust God’s goodness no matter what.
But I do know God has this.
He’s known the story and He’s been piecing together all of the brokenness and sorrow and hope and joy—and He has purpose in it.
So I can trust Him.
And that, my friends, is the greatest testimony of all.
The one that doesn’t change according the pregnancy tests, failures, successes, gifts, loss, sorrow, or happiness. It simply IS.
May you experience this reality in your life today—no matter what part of your story you’re currently facing—God has this and you can trust Him.