Every single time I got pregnant, it was on accident. I mean, I know what it takes to get pregnant. I guess we were just never really trying, especially the 3rd time. Sitting at the doctor for a regular checkup and in she walks, eyebrows raised, and says, “Guess what?”
Has your doctor ever said “Guess what?” to you? Really, the only time one should hear those words is if they are followed by the phrase “you’ve just won a million dollars!” She did not finish with that.
No I’m not.
Yes you are.
Oh. Oh. Oh….wow. Hmmm…..ok.
At this point she had brought the nurse in to help her. They looked afraid for me. They had met my other children. Josiah never left my hip until the night I went into labor with Zachary. And Nolan, well, Nolan was constantly escaping from me or yelling about something (using all biologically correct pronunciations for his anatomical features – I was so adamant they learn the correct word!) in public. He colored on the doctor’s office walls with permanent marker he found in my pocketbook. He squeezed out hand santizer on the floor. He asked the doctor what everything was…and why one of the doctors looked like a brownie and the other like a cookie…yes, that happened.
It’s hard to explain how I felt that day. I think it was a mixture of exhaustion and fertility guilt. Fertility guilt is a thing. This is when you and your husband share a bar of soap and have a baby 9 months later, while your dearest friends around you are struggling, sometimes for years, to conceive and/or carry a baby to term. It’s not treatable, but it is a thing. It is definitely politically incorrect to talk about this in any setting….probably even a blog. It’s hard to tell those friends about your pregnancy. You don’t want to sound like you are boastful, but you can’t very well say “I’m pregnant, but I didn’t mean to soooooo sorry….”
The exhaustion is the other thing I remember. My mom’s first words to me when she found out were, “Oh noooo. You’re so tired”. She didn’t squeal. My mom always squeals when she finds out someone is pregnant. She squealed the first 2 times she found out I was pregnant. Not this time…she knew. I was tired. It is exhausting being a mother. For 2 months of that pregnancy I couldn’t open my eyes all the way. I can’t describe how heavy my eyelids felt. I don’t think I really slept for 5 solid years. Now, that will take it out of you.
About 5 months into the pregnancy, Michael and I took an overnight trip to the mountains. This was the first time I had been away from both the boys, and we really needed the time together. We were there to pray and seek guidance and direction for our future. While there, I became ill. I had a terrible cold and was stuck in a (very comfortable) bed. I did nothing but blow my nose the entire 1.5 days.
But I rested.
My dad once explained Psalm 23 to me like this. He said “God makes us to lie down in green pastures”. Occasionally, God puts a halt on things, and makes you rest. His message was both a comfort and a challenge for me. My dad knew I needed that rest. My mom knew I needed that rest. Michael knew it. God knew it. God made me rest. Now that I know how to stop and find it in Him, I sleep well. I am rested. The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. Just as His grace is infinite, His love boundless, and His mercy limitless, the rest He offers is perfect and yours for the taking.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” You need simply to come. That is your part. Go to Him. Rest.
P.S. I feel compelled immediately to say that I love all my children with all my heart. I’m infinitely glad I have each one, for infinitely different reasons. They bless and challenge me every day. God knew we needed Zachary to complete our clan. He’s the one who reminds us daily to pray and give thanks before dinner, and tells me I’m pretty and beautiful every single time I kiss him goodnight. I once heard on the radio that chocolate chip cookies were invented by accident; I find comfort in that.
So there you have it, my 3 boys and chocolate chip cookies, unplanned by man, but created and ordained by God (although I can’t back up the cookie invention with scripture – well, yes I can – “every good and perfect gift is from above”. James 1:17) and all of which make the world a little better.