Fourth

On September 22nd, just over a week after Evangeline’s first birthday, I took a home pregnancy test and it came up positive. I was sort of dubious of the accuracy so I took a couple more over the next few days, all coming up positive.

My fourth pregnancy.

Jon and I wanted two little ones close together in age, so we had agreed to ‘stop preventing’ just the month before – and then bam! We’re pregnant!

Everything with this pregnancy has seemed so easy, so normal. No months of agony trying to get pregnant. The bitter taste of miscarriage, while still present, was watered down (and easily forgotten about as I am so busy trying to juggle two jobs and chase after Evangeline), not as threatening.

We have had absolutely no complications and we are now in our 2nd trimester as I am officially 14 weeks pregnant today.

Even the due date (May 31st!) is so, well, convenient. For someone who works with college students and teaches, you can’t beat it!

Everything has been so normal, so easy. It’s weird!

We were able to see our little ‘bun’ on ultrasound at about 7 weeks (beautiful little blob with a heartbeat of 129 bpm!) and then heard his/her heartbeat again at 11 weeks via the doppler.

‘Bun’ is now about the length of a lemon (3 1/2 inches) and about 1 1/2 ounces. So cute!

We should be able to find out the gender at our next ultrasound, which is right after the new year, and we are absolutely dying to find out if Evangeline is going to have a little brother or a little sister!

I am so thankful to God for blessing us with this fourth pregnancy, it has been a wonderful experience so far and I am thankful for the months I have been able to carry this little bun around, allowing him/her to grow and develop in the safety of my womb. We are praying for continued ease and health and counting down the days until May 31st!

How Moses Came to Me

From Thanksgiving through Christmas, I felt a great unraveling of all the healing and working that the Lord had done in my heart over the last year and a half. The strength, the intimacy with God, the understanding and acceptance of my life’s circumstances all lost their leaves, dried up and froze as winter progressed. I don’t know how this happened or why. Much of the anger, confusion, frustration, impatience and unbearable longing that were birthed out of Jon and I not having children took up residence once again and I was brought to a very low place.

I had many good days during the holidays; time with family and friends and time preparing to celebrate Christmas. These days however were tainted with moments of deep despair, of pain that I hadn’t felt in months, and an inexplicable feeling that I was being slowly dragged down back into my pit, a pit that had become my home for too long, a pit I did not want to return to but to which I was undeniably heading.

Throughout this time I was spending many hours pouring over the book of Exodus because our small groups in InterVarsity were going to be studying the life of Moses and I had to choose and prepare all of the scripture we would be using. I was also teaching at our first large group of the semester on Exodus Chapter 3. My talk intended to look at God’s character in Exodus as a foundation for us before we jumped into studying Moses. In this particular chapter God is sharing with Moses that He has seen the suffering of the Israelites, He has heard their cry, and He has come to send Moses to deliver them from that place. He says that He is concerned for them.

After reading and studying and praying over this passage God led me into a time of prayer that was one of the more desperate prayers of my life. Desperate in that I felt I was at the bottom of the pit, that I honestly couldn’t go on, that even though I knew how to deal with dark emotions and I knew that I shouldn’t be feeling this way, it didn’t matter. I just felt desperate. There was no shame in that moment in feeling like I was being childish or impatient, no shame in knowing that I should just be content. I just felt desperate.

And I prayed from that place.

I prayed that just as God had sent Moses to the Isrealites in response to their suffering, their crying out, and above all His deep love and concern for them. Just as He intervened on their behalf by sending them this mere human, I prayed that He would also send Jon and I a baby to deliver me from this place. I knew I should be praying for patience and God’s will and asking for forgiveness for being so obsessed with something, but I didn’t care and that is not where my prayer was coming from. I prayed for our own Moses. Not because I deserved a baby, not because I had behaved so well (because I certainly haven’t!). But because He loved me and was concerned for me.

A week later Jon and I got a positive pregnancy test.

Now there is the part of me that says this isn’t anything special. I was on progesterone which was obviously working. We were charting my cycle and “doing” all the right things. But the power, the significance, and the Spiritual guidance I felt in praying that prayer trumped all of those facts.

God answered that prayer. He heard my crying and saw my suffering and sent a mere human to me. A human that is now 3 months gestational and has a strong heartbeat. A human that I will hopefully get to hold in my arms in September, as I have so longed for.

Here is a picture from our 8 week ultrasound:
We also heard the hearbeat at 11 weeks and our next appointment is at the end of March.

Is false hope better than no hope?

I couldn’t hold out. I promised myself and Jon that I wouldn’t test until day 28 of my cycle, but I had a moment of weakness and tested today. CD26. Negative. I stared at it for a long time, thinking that maybe my eyes would start playing tricks on me and I would imagine a second pink line but no such luck. Can’t I have even a little bit of false hope? I will have to test again in a couple of days anyways, just to make sure that I am not pregnant so I know to stop taking my prometrium but I really don’t think anything will change. Now we have to pay for another stupid test, Jon is not going to be happy about this “moment of weakness” of mine.

I got really upset and threw the test stick forcefully into the garbage can and then thought about how best I could comfort myself. I thought about calling Jon or a friend or my mom. I thought about going for a run. I thought about praying. But I didn’t do any of those things. I made a beeline to the pantry, ripped open the 8lb bag of M&Ms that I purchased for Jon’s birthday party tomorrow night and dug in. I think it is now a 7lb bag. And now I feel nauseous. Could that be morning sickness…