The Whole Plan (aka Week 11) by Liimu
One more week to go and I’m out of the first trimester. I have to say, I have never freaked out as much in early pregnancy as I did this time around. I still was not successful in waiting until the end of the first trimester to tell people (obviously, as I’m telling the entire world a la this blog), but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs for the first few weeks I knew.
The amazing thing is that I got comfort from the most unexpected places. Friends I thought would have been at least happy for me, at most supportive and comforting, added to my anxiety by asking questions like, “Are you sure you can afford this?” and “Aren’t you overwhelmed already? How will you manage a fourth child?” My response to that question was, “Look – we didn’t push the issue of getting pregnant again. We left it in God’s hands. God doesn’t usually come up with half a plan.” I’m not an overly religious person, but I do believe in a Power greater than myself. My husband and I had agreed that if it wasn’t meant to be for us to have a fourth child, that would be fine with us. If it was, God was going to just have to make it happen (which He/She did). I have a feeling that’s the way all the rest of it will work out. It just will.
One of the places I got the most comfort, which I never would have expected, was from my mother. My mother always gave me the impression that she didn’t want more than two children. (I’m number five, so you can imagine how that sat with me upon first knowledge.) When I got pregnant with number three, I distinctly remember her response as being fairly underwhelmed. So, I was very nervous about telling her about this fourth blessing. I talked to my sister, Claudia, about it – my best friend – and she encouraged me to give her a chance, to give a little warning, but assume she could rise to the challenge. That’s exactly what I did.
Not only did she rise to the challenge, but when I shared with her my fears of miscarrying, she put them all to rest by reminding me that I had to stop thinking of the worst case scenario and remember that I had already had three healthy, uneventful pregnancies. “Your body knows how to do this,” she reminded me, “and stressing about it is about the only thing you could do at this point to confuse it.”
My midwife was equally unconcerned, though perhaps not as directly reassuring. I don’t know that she knew how freaked out I was, that I checked the paper every time I went to the bathroom (I still do, actually – sorry if that’s TMI). I combed the Internet for any information I could find on miscarriage symptoms or statistics and didn’t stop until I saw the one that said that once you’ve had multiple healthy pregnancies, your chances go down to less than 4%. And once you’ve seen the heartbeat (which we have) they go down to less than 1%. And as much as I can’t stand the weight gain, nausea, dry heaves, sore boobs, acne and fatigue, I still welcome each symptom as a sign of a healthy, developing baby inside.
But the bottom line is that I need to remember my own words to my friend: God has the whole plan. And that means that if the plan is for this child to be born into our happy, welcoming, loving family, it will. And that’s up to God, who…last time I checked…I am not.
Until next week!