How do I feel about this? Thrilled. Terrified. Nauseated. Exhausted. Moody. At peace.
If I did not believe that this child is a gift from God I would be in a panic. You see, pregnancy is NOT my favorite state of being. In fact I dubbed my two children "tyrannical parasites" when I was pregnant with them. This is because my body stopped working for me and got to work putting together another human being. My children got the meals, as it were, and I got the table scraps. And considering both my children weighed in over 8 pounds at birth there really wasn't much left to share.
But this time I feel different about things. Maybe it's because morning sickness hasn't yet set in. (Hey, don't discount the importance of feeling physically well!) Maybe it's because after two children my husband has clued in to how best to support me. Maybe it's because I've been there, done that, and have nothing else to prove.
Mostly it's because I've learned to put my fear and inadequacies aside and just praise God for giving me this gift. Because if there's one thing pregnancy teaches a woman is that it isn't about her. And that's ok. Because there is a time and a place for everything. At some points in life it will be all about me. At other times I will humbly do the will of God.
I didn't always think about things in this way. I used to worry about being happy and making others happy. And putting others first is not a happy thought. It sounds too much like giving up or coming in last. But since then God has shown me that putting the needs of others first can be the best for all involved. If you think about it, children love those who take care of their needs - not their wants. Children respond to those who love them and take joy in them and not those who try to make them happy. Do you think I am alone in this?
Ladies, I would like to introduce you to my new favorite saint and role model: Saint Gianna Beretta Molla. (For more information check out the following websites: http://www.saintgianna.org/stgiannalife.htm
Saint Gianna was a wife, mother, and physician. She was born in Italy in 1922. When she was pregnant with her fourth child she was informed that she had a tumor in her uterus and was advised to abort so that she could receive medical treatment. She flatly refused, saying that the life her child was more important than her own. She died just seven days after the birth of her daughter. One could easily imagine that her husband and older children would resent the baby for 'killing' their mother, but no. They recognized that Gianna would have done the same for them and they loved her and the baby more for her sacrifice. Did she struggle with her decision? You bet she did! But ultimately she had faith in God. She died April 28, 1962 and was canonized on May 16, 2004 with her family in attendance. Her feast day is April 28 and she is the patron of mothers, doctors, and preborn children. Her most remarkable attributes were here love and joy for her family and her job as a physician. She is the first woman canonized who was not a martyr and never entered into religious life. She simply did the task at hand with great love and joy.
I know it sounds strange but there is so much baggage attached to being pregnant. Am I talking about it too much? Too little? Am I working too hard? Am I a wimp for putting my feet up every once in a while? But then I think of St. Gianna who took great joy in giving life to others. She would have been thrilled for me because she was thrilled with her own children. This is how I would like to be.
So Ladies, please pray for me as I pray for you. Let us reach out to one another and be as supportive and affirming as we can. What does it cost to say "I'm happy you were born" instead of giving a scowl of disapproval for some imagines offense. We are, after all, children of God and He takes delight in us.
Sit Deus Nobis! (May God Be With US!)