Things are beginning to change in the Chamberlain household.
This coming August, we will get to welcome the newest edition to our family, already known as Baby C!
Nothing could be more exciting. Or terrifying! In some moments, I feel excited. In others, completely terrified. And then there are the moments when I feel both at the same time. I’m told that’s normal.
The idea of being parents hasn’t quite settled in yet. I wonder if it ever truly will.
As thrilled as we are now, it didn’t begin that way. If I’m being honest, my very first thought was filled with fear and internal freaking out. I walked out of the restroom with Dale waiting on the other side of the door as I showed him a positive pregnancy test. We locked eyes for what felt like forever and said nothing. In that moment I knew we were on the same page.
It all gets a bit foggy after that, but I do remember Dale questioning the accuracy of an at home pregnancy test. He didn’t want to believe it was true until the doctor confirmed it. I paced around the house a bit trying to figure out why I wasn’t excited. I kept repeating that we couldn’t believe we were going to be responsible for another life.
These last three months have been a bit of a whirlwind for me as we embark on a new life experience together. As Dale said, “Well this is somewhere we’ve never been before.”
Here are a few things the Lord has shown me in the first three months of pregnancy.
1. I can trust God
Ever since I can remember, I have been fearful of miscarrying. I don’t know what caused this fear to be so deeply rooted in my heart that it felt inevitable. I know many women who have miscarried not just once, but multiple times. And I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and hurt that so many parents have to endure.
I quickly began to realize this fear was keeping me from finding joy in my pregnancy.
Subconsciously, I planned to not allow myself to become excited, because maybe that would cause the pain to sting a little less when my fear came to pass.
It was the wise words of my aunt who brought to my attention that I was living in fear. I was robbing myself of the joy that comes along with pregnancy.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
My understanding was that miscarrying was inevitable. That was the “truth” I was leaning on. I felt as if I needed to protect my heart for what was to come. God was showing me that’s not my role. My role is to trust him with all my heart. I need to trust that God knows what will happen and that he will be the one to care for my heart, even if my fear comes to pass.
I needed to let go of my fear and replace it with an all-in kind of trust.
2. Community is important
So it’s no secret that Dale doesn’t exactly know what I’m going through. And I love that he doesn’t pretend he does.
Dale has been an amazing husband and never once made me feel crazy for not being able to open the fridge because any smell of food made me want to run to the restroom. He has never been frustrated with me or irritated by my need to open the entire house when it’s freezing outside because “something smells funny.” Instead, he would put on another layer of clothes to stay warm while I was airing out the house.
Even with all of his selflessness, in no way can he relate to everything happening to me. To talk to one of my closest friends has become a saving grace in my life. I have grown to love her and cherish our friendship together. But little did I know how much I would need her in my life for such a time as this.
Every conversation with her about how I’m feeling physically, emotionally, and mentally has been a breath of fresh air.
I can share with her my deepest concerns and craziest thoughts that I wouldn’t dare utter to anyone else. She understands me and doesn’t make me feel guilty for saying that I haven’t enjoyed pregnancy so far. Her level of honesty and transparency has become a safe place for me to process the ever changing things about my life.
Just about every conversation with her leaves me feeling heard, because she can relate to me. And I can see how it all worked out just fine in the end in her life. She has two beautiful girls that are a joy to be around.
Her friendship has been encouragement to my soul and I’m not sure how I would be managing without her. God brought her into my life at such a perfect time. I can only hope my friendship to her is as rich and honest as hers is to me.
3. It’s okay for life to be a little ugly
As you may have noticed, my journey of pregnancy has not been all that beautiful. I have talked to many women who said how much they loved being pregnant. That has not been my experience.
To be fair, I’m not too far into my second trimester. I’ve heard it gets better. I just thought it would be a lot like what all of these women have told me about. They describe the beauty of carrying your child and say all these wonderful things I would like to say I can relate to. But my experience with pregnancy is that it’s filled with a whole lot of ugly.
I knew about morning sickness but mine lasted from morning till evening for six weeks.
I went from living an active and decently healthy lifestyle to eating whatever my body would hold down, which consisted of a lot of bread. That alone was a huge transition in my life, as much as my mind wanted to get up and workout at 5AM my body was not having it.
There have been many changes to my lifestyle and schedule that I’m not super thrilled about. I’m seeing limitations to what I can physically do even just in terms of energy. And that’s frustrating for me.
But the truth is that it really is okay when life gets a bit ugly. I’ve so desperately wanted this to be a beautiful and life-giving time in my life, but in all honesty it feels like quite the opposite.
Then I’m reminded of a truth that another dear friend of mine says often.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)
God knew exactly how my body would respond to pregnancy and the mental and emotional hurdles I would face because of it. Yet, this life growing within me is a good and perfect gift.
Baby C is a gift from my heavenly Father who never changes and will always be here for me. One day, this sweet baby will call me mom.
Just as I am praying for Christ’s strength to keep me from falling asleep after lunch everyday, I will be praying for his wisdom to raise this child, the gift he has entrusted me with.