I am happy to report that I have begun to believe, to hope, and, yes, even to love. And I'm not talking about my relationship with God, although that certainly plays a part in it all. No, I have begun to believe that we really are going to have a baby to hold and to raise come February. I have begun to hope that this pregnancy will continue to full term and end in a birth. And I have begun to allow myself to love the new life within me.
Why have anticipation and attachment been missing? Why didn't I trust in God and rejoice from the first signs of pregnancy?
Sadly, my previous experience of miscarriage predisposed me to uncertainty, doubt, and even a little fear. Even though I "recovered" quickly from the loss of our first little one (David's grief lasted longer than mine), when the home test confirmed this pregnancy I felt cautious. And I stayed cautious. I didn't call my grandparents to share the news. I didn't buy anything baby related, and I wouldn't let myself plan for the baby's arrival. I read my pregnancy books with a surprising lack of interest. When David patted, kissed, or talked to "Boo Boo" (like Yogi Bear's companion - definitely not a mistake), I resisted attachment. I didn't want to suffer much if the Lord chose to take this one home to Heaven, too.
I was even prone to daydreams about the baby dying inside of me. I tried to shake them off and pray for trust in God, but they didn't stop. I worried.
And then we went to our second prenatal appointment. Different practice, different intended hospital of delivery, different practitioner (a certified nurse midwife). An excellent experience overall. But the best part, the impetus of this post, is that we got to hear the baby's heartbeat again. With a portable little Doppler device the CNM found that steady thump-thump (150 beats per minute now) in my pelvis. And I breathed a huge sigh of relief. The baby is alive.
As week 12 comes to a close, I am sneaking up on the end of my first trimester. Chances of a miscarriage beyond this point are slim. Of course, anything could happen - I give it all to God. But, in doing so, I am free to believe, free to hope, and free to love. To love this little life within me and plan for its future. I am sorry that I waited this long. Shame on me for withholding love out of fear of losing someone!
I am reminded of how much God loves every one of His children, even when He knows they will turn away and be "lost" to Him. I pray, through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother, that I might love this child with God's love, as much as any human heart can.
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..." (1 John 4:18)