I’m only four weeks into my pregnancy with our second child (yay! We are thrilled!), but I feel like I’ve already gained as much perspective through it as I did through my entire pregnancy with Olivia (which was a lot, and life-changing). Two of my most significant insights have been in regards to seemingly different individuals impacted by pregnancy (and on the flip side, abortion): a mother and a sibling.
Although, by and large, this pregnancy has so far been a lot kinder and gentler on me than my first (thank you, Lord!), it hasn’t been without it’s own complications. My early detection of the pregnancy led to a number of false negative tests, which left Ryan and I on an emotional rollercoaster. Was I or wasn’t I? I could have sworn that I was! When the doctor’s office finally called to notify us that they had made a mistake by initially saying my Hcg test was negative, and we were, indeed, expecting, we were both ecstatic and overwhelmed. We had spent days coming to grips with the fact that we weren’t, only to find out that we were.
Mixed in with all of our joy also came a sudden mix of fear and uncertainty. The biggest fear–I was in a lot of pain and afraid that the pregnancy was ectopic or would soon result in miscarriage. Over a period of days, we rode the emotional roller coaster a second time, as we attempted to determine the source of my extreme discomfort. Finding out that I had an ovarian cyst that had ruptured, but that the pregnancy was progressing fine was a blessing, but it has only slightly taken the edge off of my fear. As mothers, we instinctively concern ourselves with our children’s safety and well-being, whether they are playing in the yard or growing in our womb. I will stay on guard for both of my children all of my life, regardless of their location.
The other mix of anxiety that I have found myself facing this time is similar to the anxiety I felt during my pregnancy with Olivia, but it is both heightened and dulled in comparision to it, relatively speaking. I’ve worried now over the last few weeks about how having another child is going to change our family unit. At 3 1/2, Olivia is finally sleeping in her bed all night (most nights). We’ve grown rather accustomed to our little family of 3. What’s going to happen now? How is Olivia going to be affected at this stage in her development by having a sibling? What about the additional financial constraints? Heck, we don’t even insurance maternity coverage (we’re okay now, though). My list of worries could go on and on. I know these worries are par for the course. And we’ve been wishing and hoping for another child, but the fears still surface. And by and large, although these are some new worries for me, I remember how intense my worries were with Olivia, too.
What struck me differently this time about my experiences with the pregnancy, in a woman’s perspective, was that I could see and feel how some women must feel when faced with such worries, fears, and no support, or not enough information about resources available to her. I could see how desparation, unknowing, could lead them down a path that they never intended. Although I know my worries and fears are normal, I also know that God intended for me to gain perspective about what drives so many women to the point of ending their pregnancies.
And although, as a mother, I was concerned about how having another child could affect Olivia, I knew long before we became pregnant that she would be fine. More than fine, actually. She is, and will be, absolutely amazing. In fact, before I even told my husband that I thought that I was pregnant, Olivia walked up to me and asked, “Mom, are you growing a baby in your belly?” We’ve been talking with her about it for quite some time, or, in actuality, she’s been talking with us about it. “When are you going to grow a baby? Can’t we just go get one at the hospital like everyone else?” we heard time and time again. When we told her that we are having a baby, she was thrilled (See her photo above). I’m rather sure that she has told everyone that she runs into that she’s a big sister. This shirt pictured above could already sprout legs and walk, she wears it nonstop. And yes, she is a big sister. Whether the child is “in my belly” as she knows, or is lying in my arms, that child I’m carrying is her sibling.
That’s what has really struck me during this pregnancy, too. I speak all of the time about the intergenerational impact of abortion. I hear from individuals, young and old alike, who grieve the loss of the sibling they know they lost to abortion. And now, looking through our daughter’s eyes, I can see how much her sibling means to her. I can’t imagine how devastated she, or any child would be, to find out that their brother or sister lost their life at the hands of someone they so love and trust.
An increased awareness and perspective when it comes to pregnancy and abortion, indeed. As if a pregnancy wasn’t blessing enough…