Monday, 8 September 2014

Fear, trust, and loving someone I haven't met yet

As I sit here writing this, my belly is moving on its own. I'm getting kicked in the ribs. At 36 weeks, this bump has acquired a distinct life of its own.

And like the life inside, I have changed and matured a lot in the last 36 weeks.

I've never wanted to be a mother. When we got married, I agreed to be open to the possibility; and when I became pregnant, I knew how much I would need my heart to change over the months it would take to grow this baby. And yes, it's happened - is still happening!

So am I ready to be someone's mother for the rest of my life? Uh, that's way, way too big a question to contemplate! What I know is that I am a mother already. I haven't met my child, but he/she is real and alive and I am his/her mother. And yes, I do love this child!

Which is why I am terrified, utterly terrified to the point of crying every time I think of it, that he or she could possibly not be OK. I have gestational diabetes, which I control with a strict diet and with some success - a high reading every 2-3 days - and last week at my antenatal appointment they told me that there was a risk that the placenta could just stop working in late pregnancy, which results in stillbirth. No one told me how high that risk is, and honestly, I don't need to know: it's there, and the stakes are the highest they can be. It clamps my insides shut to think of coming home from hospital without this child, who's so active and alive within me right now.

I'm not sure I have ever known real, trembling fear until now.

Perhaps to some degree that is what being a mother is all about - someone once told me that having children was like giving birth to your own heart and having it run around in the world, outside of you. You can't always protect it and it's gut-wrenching, scary. Kids take risks; kids get hurt; they have their own lives to live and pains to feel. Perhaps you always fear for them, and perhaps the fear I'm living with now is just a foretaste. It's all I can do to pray that this child lives so I can continue to fear for them...

Bump view. And Fred.
And that is where trust comes in. I have to somehow find a way to come up for air from this fear and find trust - trust in doctors, who know what they are doing and are looking to induce at 38 weeks to get baby out and into safety; trust in my own body to sustain this life until that happens; but trust in God? Let me be very honest - I'm not at that place right now.

God as I see him is the one I look to for strength, whatever happens - even in the ultimate disaster. I don't think he has ever promised me that I would have a child, nor did I ask him for one, and he definitely hasn't made any specific promises about this child. I don't know what his plan is. That's the scariest part. As CS Lewis says, God is not safe: but he is good. Only his idea of good comes from a bigger perspective than mine, which is why I can't presume that I know what he's going to do. All I can do is throw myself at his mercy, and bring my fear and pain to him to deal with.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for sharing!