Friday, January 02, 2009

Ducks & Doubts

Wow. I am speechless.

Okay, okay, not really, since we all know that’s simply not possible with the word fountain that is your friend Ann-Marie. But I am so swamped, so overwhelmed with the amount of support and kindness that is pouring in from all sources.

Our long, arduous struggle with infertility seems to have resonated with so many people, and here I was just complaining out loud!

Brett and I just want to thank everyone for your kindness, comments, and prayer. We have appreciated you as you wept with us, and now as you rejoice with us!

I have some strange odds and ends in this post.

First, a miracle that has been in the works for SIX years! My friend (and co-worker at the time) Jill had a baby just a few years after I started working at Girl Scouts. After her pregnancy, she gave me some of her maternity clothes – three casual shirts, two button-down blouses, black sweatpants, khaki pants, and a pair of maternity jeans.

At the time, Jill and I were roughly the same size. The clothes were 1X. Lately, I’ve been wearing 2X clothes, and even though I’d hung out to those maternity clothes for SIX years, I had my doubts that they’d fit. The other day I dug them out from storage in our basement and reluctantly tried the jeans on, and…they’ll fit! There was plenty of room in the legs, although of course, I can’t fill out the front panel yet!

It was a true answer to prayer. Brett and I are very tight financially right now, and the thought of having to drop more money on more clothes made me anxious. Now, at least, I have a pair of jeans! When I get a bit braver, I plan to try on the rest of the clothes.

So, my first “official” request is for maternity clothes donations! If you have any 1-2X maternity clothes that I might borrow, I would be most appreciative! I know it’s a weird size, but it’s what I am, and frankly it’ll be nice to have a reason to be fat(ter).

I went out to dinner with some friends recently when I remarked I just felt so fat (not due to the baby or anything yet, just me). One of my friends said, “Just tell people you’re pregnant. They don’t need to know how far along you are. Just say it’ll be any time now!” I laughed and laughed!

In answer to Wendy’s question, I’ve always thought it would be fun to decorate with ducks! Yellow ducks. It seems so cheerful!

The only exception would be if we know for sure (1% chance) that we were having a girl – and then maybe bunnies. In all the baby decorations we see, bunnies seems to be mostly female-oriented, while ducks are cheerily unisex. And I would hate to give a little boy a complex, you know? We’d want to wait a few years before screwing up the kid on purpose.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, as usual. Right now, if the doctor’s guesstimate is right, on Monday, I’ll be at 10 weeks. That’s not very far, so I need to slow down, I know. So many things can happen, and we’re trying very hard to be obedient to God’s will in our lives. We pray that His will includes a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, but we are also (as our Pastor always says) trying to hold it all with open hands.

The pregnancy books list all manner of things that can go wrong. I find myself remembering Mom’s physically and emotionally painful miscarriage. My little brother or sister currently resides in heaven, but I worry about my “family history.” The list of worries goes on and on.

But I take comfort in two things. First, something my friend Alice said when I expressed my fears to her.

“Ann-Marie,” she said, as calm as the sea. “Welcome to motherhood. It’s non-stop worry all the time. You’ll worry about the pregnancy. You’ll worry about the delivery. After the baby is born, you’ll worry about SIDS. When they’re in pre-school, you’ll worry about child predators. When they’re in college, you’ll still be worrying. It’s just part of your job from now on.”

I laughed, in relief, her calm assurance reminding me I am not the only person who has ever been pregnant. Pregnancy problems and worries are universal.

The greatest assurance occurred to me only this past week. As I was in bed, rubbing my stomach anxiously, I suddenly felt the peace of God. It was not a peace that said nothing would go wrong, or that everything would be perfect, but it was a peace that clicked in my soul.

This child is not mine. We “tried” to get pregnant for eight years and never could. It was only when God’s timing was right that we were able to conceive. We obviously couldn’t “will” our child into existence, no matter how hard we wanted to. So, the child dwelling inside me is not there because I want it to be (although I do) but because God wants it to be there.

And God takes care of His own, and if He wants it to be there (for as long as He wants it to be there) who am I to worry? If God be for my baby, who can be against it?

So, my prayer continues to be: “Dear Lord, I ask as your child that You would grant me a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. I ask that these things would bring honor and glory to You, and if there is another way for You to bring honor and glory to Yourself, I pray Your will be done. Guide me, direct me, and comfort me in Your perfect plan.”

It’s a tough prayer for many reasons, since the last thing I want is to lose this precious cargo, but I know I need to be submissive to God’s will, no matter what it is. It’s a hard thing to pray this sincerely and without fear, so I would ask you pray for me, too. For all three of us, that God would grant us our desire (ye have not, because ye ask not) but that it would also bring honor and glory to God as the end result.

The next big milestone is our ultrasound on January 8 to determine a due date. Please pray for us!


a joyful nusiance said...

I will be praying for you!

Laura Brown said...

Same here!

And how about Peter Rabbit decorations? They would work for a boy or girl.

(Sorry if this shows up a hundred times, Blogger is giving me some trouble with the word verification.)

CANDICE said...

I second the Peter Rabbit.. It would be nice for either boy or girl! They are classic looking too! You will be a great mom! Don't worry to much! Love you!

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

I also like Peter Rabbit. We have a Peter quilt that my Mimi made, and it's been displayed in the nursery for 9 years (through one girl and three boys.) It's very unisex.
I do really like the duck idea, too. Maybe for the baby's bathroom?? There are LOTS of duck bathroom accessories. And you can find things like that on sale all the time.

Yes, I will be praying for you. Every day. And I asked my sister to continue to pray for you as well.

Juliet said...

I have been collecting some yellow duck items. Having said that, I voted for a girl. I know, I know that's a slim chance.

But like the song from Fiddler on the Roof...Miracles of Miracles..etc.

We will all rejoice whatever our heavenly Father gives. Still stand in awe of this wonderful event to come.

MommaHarms said...

OK, I don';t have any clothes for you (I was squeezing into xl clothes with Megan and they are VERY worn out) but I do have a suggestion on where to find cheap ones. THere is a consignment store on Sandyhollow just past Alpine called Treasures Galore (you probably see it on your way to church). They have a maternity section where I found some nice things the first time around. Inventory and sizes vary every week, since it's a consignment shop, but finding plus size clothes new in the stores is tough and expensive, so it's worth a try.If you buy anything early on shirt wise, make sure it is long. WIth Megan I had a horrible time finding clothes that covered my belly towards the last two months (ok, her being 10 lbs may have affected that.)\

Of course, it's not an "end-all" but seeing hte heartbeat increases your chances significantly. Also, getting to 12-15 weeks does too. But you will worry. I miscarried the month before we got pregnant with MEgan (we weren't supposed to be trying either so it was a big concern) and I worried the whole pregnancy (ok, until 34 weeks which is when my firstborn was born). I didn't worry the first time around because I was naive, I guess. So worrying is normal, and yes, you will worry all the time. It's a constant battle as a mom to give those kiddos back to the Lord. I even have panic attacks sometimes because I fear something will happen to take one of my girls from me!

I will be/have been praying. Imagine, people you barely know are praying for you and your little one!

Alice said...

I like the duck idea too. There's a duck for the bath you can buy that has a disc in it that changes color if the water is too hot to put baby in (we named ours "Henry" by the way). See...a whole new world of merchandise is opening up to you!

The Beard Bunch said...

It is so good to read your prayer. I think we need to be that way in every area. You are constantly in my thought and prayers. Goodness, I might even have to fly to Rockford for this important event. :)

Heidi said...

I may have some clothes for you.
I was nearly in tears while reading this.