As I looked at the calendar and counted the days til this grueling first trimester would finally be over, my girls were having a major meltdown.
Apparently I had promised to take them to the park and now I was saying no.
Just like I had said no countless times before.
And this time they weren’t having it.
Tears were coming down hard.
They were noticing the changes taking place.
Mommy always tired.
Too tired to spend time with them.
Too tired to tuck them into bed.
Never feeling good.
Always impatient and aggravated.
“You’re going to forget about us!” screams my youngest.
With that, I ask them to put on their shoes, I tell them we’ll have a picnic.
We order some food to go – smoked brisket, fries, coleslaw, jalapeno corn bread – and we head straight to the park.
All the while, I’m silently telling myself to breathe, to put one foot in front of the other.
. . . . . .
At the park with the sun on my face and the breeze in my hair, I sit on the blanket and watch the girls twirl and dance and laugh.
I pick at the remaining coleslaw and see a woman jogging across the street.
She’s sun kissed and lean from head to toe, moving forward with such fluency and focus that I am overwhelmed with longing to be her.
To be hitting the pavement with fierce energy.
Instead I am dragging day in and day out, nauseous, sleepy, and achy, watching my body slowly stretch and change, constantly kicking off fear and wishing to feel like a normal human being again.
. . . . . . .
There has been a battle in my mind.
A myriad of thoughts, all vying and pushing to be on the forefront.
I hear mothers of three or four talk of wanting to have more and a part of me envies their strength.
Yet a bigger part of me can’t relate.
Because I feel like I’ve been there, done that, and don’t want to do it again.
Then I read about women who are trying to conceive, who are desperate to see two pink lines on that pregnancy test and suddenly I feel like I have no right to express my thoughts, how I should just shut my big mouth.
More than anything, I look at the news.
I see the tragedies, the events taking place worldwide, the loss and pain happening all around, and I find myself saying, “I can’t.”
Especially when I pass a children’s cancer center every Monday as we head to my daughter’s school, I ask God why.
Why bring another child into this world?
A place filled with so much evil.
A place with babies fighting for their life.
A place on the brink of a one world order.
And that is what terrifies me the most.
I think of the things to come, the prophecies yet to be fulfilled, the suffering that is on its way.
Yes, I know, I shouldn’t live in fear.
But this reality alone is what has always caused me to dip my feet into motherhood with extreme caution.
. . . . . . .
I have been processing this pregnancy much slowly than my other two.
At 12 weeks, nausea comes at me with a vengeance and I am furious.
I want to feel normal. I beg God to feel normal.
A close friend asks me how I’m doing and we both know the question is beyond the physical symptoms.
“I don’t know. I’m not there yet.” I say.
I’ve been walking through a haze of clutter, trying to sort out everything in me; excited yet going through the motions, amazed by the miracle taking place yet annoyed by the changes, seeing my belly swell yet feeling disconnected.
One morning as I’m on my knees praying over people, over needs, I think about the baby and it hits me.
A wave of gratitude.
Where my mouth begins to pour out words of thanksgiving for the gift inside of me.
And it was there, during that prayer time, 12 weeks gestation, that I genuinely fall in love with the itty bitty peanut.
In a sense, it sounds so wrong and so awful to see it has taken me this long to connect.
But I realize it’s okay. I am not horrible.
And God is neither astonished nor bothered by it in the least bit.
He’s been at work every step of the way.
. . . . . . .
Today, split pea soup was simmering in a large pot.
Peanut butter cookies baking in the oven.
Ellie Holcomb playing in the background.
And I was carrying a stack of clean white towels into the bedroom.
It was a productive, ordinary but nonetheless blessed day where I was feeling whole.
Then I get a nice, strong punch right in the center of my belly button.
I quickly grab onto the kitchen counter, take a deep breath and it dawns on me.
The baby just kicked!
That first hey-I’m- really- here kick!
I frantically text my husband.
I stand there, laughing, hugging my belly, listening to Ellie’s lyrics.
“There is good news, there is a promise, that no matter where you go, you will never be alone,
in the dark and in the doubting, when you can’t feel anything, his love remains the same,”
And the beauty of it all is so inconceivable that I am reduced to tears . . . . . .