I’m officially 39-and-a-half weeks pregnant, which feels…weird.
I think some girls grow up dreaming of the day when they will be a mom. Some of these girls even practice their skills early by playing with baby dolls. They nurture them, feed them, change their diapers, and sing them bedtime songs. They name them cute little baby names, walk them around in strollers, burp them and swaddle them in pastel-colored blankets.
I wasn’t one of those little girls.
As a little girl, all I wanted to be was a country music singer. Being a mom, at the time, seemed so boring, and way too normal, and the way I played with dolls followed suit. All of my baby dolls, through the art of imagination, were instantly turned into adults. I gave them adult haircuts (if they had hair), and gave them all occupations (most of which involved the music industry). They all had various relationships and interests, and, for the most part, were all given robust personalities.
They didn’t need to be nurtured. They weren’t babies.
As I got older, and began watching TV shows, I remember liking the parenting style of Lorelai Gilmore, and I decided that if I was going to be a mom, I would like to be a hip, young one like her. The problem is, as I watched the show in later years, I realized that what I truly wanted was a daughter who liked to do and talk about the same things as me. I wanted a best friend. This, unfortunately, is probably not the best motivation for having a kid.
So why am I telling you all of this? Simply because I think this is part of the reason why being 39-and-a-half weeks pregnant feels weird – and really scary at times.
Don’t get me wrong, I am SO happy that I’m pregnant. I believe children are a blessing, and I am SO thrilled that I get to experience being a mom (and am equally as thrilled to see my husband be a dad). I’m SO excited to get to know our little guy’s personality, watch him grow, and take a very active part in his development. However, this doesn’t change the fact that I’m a little scared. Give me a kid that I can reason and talk with, and I’ll be pretty comfortable, but what am I supposed to do with a baby?
Over these past 39-and-a-half weeks, I’ve had a lot of time to think about the situation I am in – and I’ve had a lot of opportunities to pray. Every time I pray, it seems as though God reminds me of three important things that have tremendously helped me exhale in the midst of anxiety (I promise this post will come full-circle, just give it time):
Number One: God has already numbered the hairs on our little guy’s head (Luke 12:6-7).
For the first 8 months of pregnancy I was extremely nervous that something was going to happen to our baby boy in the womb, and this truth greatly calmed my nerves. You see, God created this little boy in my belly (sure, he used the mister and I in this event, too), and in this process, God intricately pieced together his frame and decided which genes would collide to create his very personal DNA (Psalm 139:13-16). The fact that God knows the number of hairs on his head points to the fact that God cares about our baby. Knowing God cares about him, helps me let go of all of the “what ifs.” There’s so much that happens in the womb – so much I can’t see. This truth allows me to exhale and rest in the fact that God knows him, and he’s watching over him when I can’t fully.
Number Two: Our baby boy is more God’s than he is ours (Colossians 1:15-17).
I have several friends who have experienced the deep sorrow of miscarriage. Some of my friends have even had to deliver babies stillborn. Throughout my pregnancy, these stories have haunted me. They have filled me with fear and have caused me to question how I would respond if God allowed us to experience the same thing. Ultimately, however, I know that our baby is more God’s than he is ours. If God is over our lives, if God is the one who allows our lungs to take in air, if God is the one who keeps our hearts beating, then he is most definitely over the life of the baby in my womb. If God allows for our baby to die, then I have to trust that God knows what he’s doing – even if it hurts and even if I don’t understand why. God loves our baby boy more than the Mister and I ever could, and this is a wonderful truth.
Number Three: I’m not created to do this alone.
This one brings me back to the beginning of this post (finally). I still have a lot of fears. To be honest, I am kind of scared to be alone at home with a baby for an extended period of time. Sure, part of this fear is linked to the fact that babies are delicate and I could easily do something wrong, but, more than that, my fear is rooted in my tendency to become easily bored and my desire to always be doing something outside of the home. As I said earlier, I wasn’t a kid who dreamed of being a mom – and I most defiantly never wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. My mom worked full-time, most of my friend’s mom’s worked full-time, and I wanted to work full-time. It was that simple. However, when I thought through things a few years ago, I decided that although I WANT to work full-time (that would still be the easiest path for me personality wise), I would probably only work part-time while our kids are really young. And, truthfully, this decision kind of terrifies me. I’m scared being at home with a baby is going to make me depressed. I’m scared it’s going to continually make me feel drained, and I’m scared I’ll grow to be ineffective in the out-of-home world.
BUT the truth is, I’m not alone in any of it.
There are going to be hard days, days when I want to scream, and days when I might have to break away for some “me” time, but ultimately, I’m not alone in it. The Lord says that he will continually guide me (Psalm 31:3; Proverbs 3:5-6), that He is the vine, my source of nourishment and life (John 15:5), and that he knows my situation fully (Psalm 139:2). There is no way I can be the mom I want to be by myself. I’m not as independent as I think I am. I desperately need Him.
I know my story isn’t unique. I know there are others out there like me. If you’re one of those people, take heart. God is a good, He loves you, He knows what he’s doing, and He will walk with you through it all. Exhale and be comforted.
(Disclaimer: Whether a mom decides to work full-time, part-time, or stay at home with her kids is a very personal decision. No part of this post is meant to say that one way is better than the other – nor do I think the bible gives us enough to go on for any stay-at-home v. don’t-stay-at-home position. Okay…sorry. Pet peeve moment. I’m done.)