Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pregnancy, Part 3

The story of my pregnancy, continued from previous days.

Once we had hit a safer time period and my restrictions had been slightly relaxed, I had three beautiful baby showers. The first one was thrown by my best friend, Amy. She gave us a beautiful, relaxed shower at one of our favorite hangouts, Byzantios. Several friends came to catch up and celebrate with us.

Then I had my church shower. It was truly beautiful. I was surrounded by Godly women, many of who had taught me in Sunday school when I was a baby. These women had been praying for Larkin since the beginning, and it was wonderful to celebrate with them. (It was amazing. I have been prayed for many times in my life, through sickness and struggle and pain. But to know your child is being prayed for – it is the most amazing feeling in the world!)

Then my precious sorority sisters threw me a shower. Amber, Devon and Mina put together a great party at the house (between the continued contractions and the impending due date, I wasn’t moving much at all by this point, even with the relaxed restrictions!). Besides getting to catch up with my sisters, the girls put together a onesie decorating. We got some adorable onesies for Larkin!

The showers marked a very happy time in my pregnancy. I had been so scared up until then. I was trying desperately to distance myself from my little one to protect my heart in case of the worst. It didn’t work, by the way. I was madly in love with him! But I was trying my best. I became wildly superstitious, refusing to buy anything for him, putting the brakes on my plan for a blog to document the pregnancy, just doing whatever I could to build a wall.

But finally, I had reached a level of safety. If Larkin was born at that point, he’d survive. He might need some time in the NICU, it might be tough, but he had a chance. And being surrounded by all these women, being overwhelmed with their gifts and their blessings – I knew my boy has loved, and I knew he was safe.

After the showers, I was desperate to surround myself in baby goodness. Jonathan and I build the crib and changing station (well, Jonathan built them while I sat on the floor and dictated) and we put together Larkin’s nursery – which was actually just his side of our bedroom since our place is so tiny!

And then it was time to wait. The contractions were growing more painful as the baby got bigger – actually, EVERYTHING was more painful! Sleep was awkward and sporadic, eating was uncomfortable, walking was… well, I waddled. Jonathan started working from home to help me, and because we were preparing for our arrival at any moment. We washed all his precious little clothes, installed his car seat, folded his blankets and built his swing. And waited... and waited… and waited.

And then… there he was.


The reverse blessing I wrote for my church baby shower:

I’m standing here today to celebrate a baby boy that is being born against over whelming odds. This child that grows within me is a testament to the faithfulness and the power of God.

When I was 14 years old, a doctor delivered some difficult news. Due to several problems with my reproductive system, I was informed that there would be very little chance I would be able to conceive naturally, if at all. As I got older, my complications increased, and multiple other doctors confirmed the original diagnosis. As an adopted child, I never particularly worried about the inability to have children of my own. I knew that, just as my family found me, there were multitudes of ways to start a family.

Then I met Jonathan. Before we became engaged, I explained the likelihood that we would not be able to have children. He offered his unconditional support, but for the first time, the concept bothered me. I was deeply in love with this man, and longed to see what our babies would look like. We went on, started our life together, and just knew that (in the distant future) we’d start a family one way or another.

My biblical namesake is, of course, Sarah – the wife of Abraham. Anyone who is known as much for her impatience as she is for her faith is someone to whom I can relate. Now, of course, we have even more in common. All her life, Sarah longed for a baby. Like me, men said it was impossible. But God made her a promise. Like me, Sarah said “not now”. But God, in His perfect wisdom, gave both of us the desires of our heart in His own timing.

So now I’m overjoyed to be here celebrating both the miracle of this baby and the faithfulness of God. I look around the room and see women who held me as a baby. You taught me to pat the Bible, and reminded me to learn my memory verse. I see the women who encouraged me through adolescence, who held my hand during summer camps, who wrote me beautiful words of encouragement at my baptism and for my high school and college graduation, and who bowed their heads in prayer as I went through surgeries, illnesses, and various life tribulations. I see the women who grew up beside me. The ones who share my deepest secrets, who stood beside me in the darkest times, who shared deserts and clothes and zipped me into my wedding dress. I see a family made strong not through blood and genetics, but through love and in Christ.

And now, my love for each of you has grown immeasurably deeper. Over the last eight months, many of you have lifted your voices up in prayer on behalf of my son. No prayer has ever meant so much. This pregnancy has been fraught with complications and trials. Moments of panic and frightening test results. But at every scary turn, you have joined us in petitions to God to protect and perfect this child.

And as I stand here, nearing full term with a healthy little boy who is preparing to make his way into this world, I thank you. From the bottom of my happy heart, I praise your faithfulness. I cherish your love. I worship the God who brought each of you into my life. Thank you all for everything you’ve done for me, and everything you’ve done for my family. God bless you.


One final pregnancy update to follow!

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