I haven’t shared a lot about our pregnancy (I say our but you all know that Lollie is the one taking shots for the team). So here goes.
It has been a wonderful time for me and Lollie. The excitement and expectation coupled with the fear of the unknown serves as a catalyst for trust. God is the one forming our little one in Lollie’s womb. Psalms 139 has always been special to me, but now it’s taking on a whole new meaning. When one of my friends read it the other day, I started crying!
The pregnancy is a wonderful time for stretching, not just physically but also emotionally. Most women fret about the stretch marks left after the nine months of preparation, the danger however, is to ignore the rooms that are created during the nine months. Yes, the baby room gets readied (we already have ideas but have not started yet), but the most important room is the room in our hearts. Having a child in your house is the ultimate act of hospitality; this stranger, representing Christ.
Lollie’s pregnancy has been hard. Yesterday she told me that she’s tired to be in the "some women" category. As in:
– Some women are sick for their whole pregnancy. Lollie is now in the fourth month and the vomiting has not stopped! Every day my precious wife spends inordinate amounts of time gagging, she knows the toilet bowl too well. She never complains, and takes it in her stride, but it is hard.
– Some women have spotting during the pregnancy. Two weeks ago we noticed the dreaded sight for anyone during pregnancy. Blood. That what is crucial for life, can also signal something dreadful. We were forced to our knees. Early that morning we prepared ourselves for a miscarriage. Our friends prayed and with fear and humility we drove to the doctor, knowing that life’s a frail gift. Sitting in the doctor’s room, wondering if the baby is still alive is an experience I will not want anyone to go through. In the gynaecologist’s office hangs a painting of a peasant crouching at a fire with her little one strapped to her back. The simplicity of it struck me. In a few minutes we would peek into Lollie’s uterus and see the fate of our little one. The doctor did the sonar and a little life moved in the water-house! I asked the doctor to show me the heartbeat. He explained to me that the baby cannot move without a heartbeat. I insisted on seeing. It was there. We drove away exclaiming that life is a gift.
– Some women have a low lying placenta. A week later the doctor phoned and explained that the bleeding was due to the placenta being to close to the cervix. This can cause some bleeding. One in two hundred women has this condition. Once again we prayed; asking God to move the placenta up. We found ourselves in the "some women" category once again.
– Some women have contractions during the second trimester. Lollie’s uterus contracts a lot. Almost thirty times a day. We are told that it’s due to an irritable uterus. Questions flooded our minds, "will we go into premature labour?", "does this hurt the baby?", "will everything stay closed that should be closed, or will the floodgates open?". Two nights ago was an emotional evening for the Smiths. God help!
Yesterday was another big day for the three of us. Because of the contractions, the doctor ordered us to be at her office at 7 in the morning. Once again we found ourselves in the neighbourhood of "we don’t know" the suburb of "what will happen?" The doctor asked her usual questions and we had our own list. After that she placed that question-answering eye onto my wife’s tummy. To our delight we saw a little human moving and kicking and doing what little ones do best! The placenta also moved up and was normal. Lollie now has medication for the contractions. God is good. Life is a gift!
Our experience over the last few weeks has definitely changed the way in which I view people. Every person is a walking miracle. Formed and weaved by God. A life so precious.
I’m also thinking about the implications of pregnancy on the life of pastoring. The struggle, the wonder, the realization that everyone’s different. The vomiting. The delight of seeing someone formed into the life of Christ. It’s good to be alive! I’m so glad that we have friends who love and support us and most of all for God who strengthen us.