Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Failed Plans

People who know me know my love for a good plan. Especially my siblings. They give me a hard time about the way I ask "so guys, what's the plaaaaaan?" If something needs a plan, they'll joke about just letting me be the one to make one. Because I'm a planner. I find comfort in knowing what to expect. I like being able to anticipate what will happen, and have learned that I actually don't like huge surprises. Some friends threw a surprise party for me for my 22nd birthday, and I actually was irritated at the whole situation!

So I plan when I can, and try to adapt when I can't. Huge decisions like buying a house, having kids, and even planting a garden definitely need a plan. I know in my head that ultimately God is the One that really has The Plan, but He obviously gave me a brain for planning, so plan I shall.

I love being a mom. Some days are crazier than others, and these years of raising little ones are usually pretty crazy. Usually my daily plan consists of feeding everyone at least five times. Breakfast, Second Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Bedtime Snack. Sometimes I even get other stuff done. Sometimes I even get other stuff done, but life is pretty intense right now. Chloë turned 5 in June, Elaina is 3 1/2, and Norah just turned 1 in July, and still enjoyed nursing several times a day and night. Bryan and I felt led to add one more child to the mix, but I had it all figured out that we would wait until January to get pregnant. My last pregnancy and post-partum recovery was so hard. I needed some time to mentally prepare for 8 months of the stomach flu, and whatever post-partum anxiety and depression was likely to follow.

Then I woke up one morning a couple of weeks ago, and figured I'd better take a pregnancy test. Just to be sure that drinking a beer at my brother's wedding a few days later would be fine. Bryan was about to leave for work, but I told him he should stay a couple of minutes. Just in case.

But instead of seeing one line on the test, there were two. I've taken about a hundred negative pregnancy tests, but have only ever had three positives. And this one was definitely positive. I felt my hand covering my mouth, and wondered why that's a thing. Hot tears started streaming down my cheeks, but I quickly brushed them away, hoping their absence would bring clarity to my emotions. "Babe, it's positive," I whispered to Bryan. We both almost didn't believe it. We couldn't be pregnant. Could we? Apparently we could. The tears kept coming, and I still didn't know why. Bryan hugged me. "I'm not ready," I heard myself saying. Memories of my last pregnancy flooded my mind. Not being able to get off the couch to get my girls a snack. The migraines completely flattened me. Throwing up until I needed IV fluids. My legs buckling under me from the pinched nerves in my hips. The anxiety that robbed my family of me after Norah was born. I wasn't ready to be thrown into the year that suddenly lied ahead.

Bryan knew what I meant. He remember it all too. "I'll take care of you and the girls," he said, still holding me. "Everything will be okay."

Bryan had to leave for work, and I tried to putter around to get things ready for my out-of-town siblings that were coming to stay for our brother's wedding. But my head was spinning.

When people anticipate a hurricane, they prepare. We may not have had much warning before the morning sickness hit, but I jumped into scramble mode to prepare before it did. A little deep cleaning, some extra food in the freezer and pantry, and all the laundry. Plan or no plan, I'm growing a baby, y'all!

The fact that this baby was a surprise has no bearing on her value. She (because it would seem that chances are likely) is loved and wanted, despite our inability to plan our future. Her personhood is not determined by our inability to plan her existence. She is our poppyseed sized child, and we will fight with all that we are to preserve her life.

I know some women ache for the chance to have a child. When Eve was cursed with "sorrow and conception; in pain you shall bring forth children," I know God wasn't just referring to the pain of contractions during labor. I know there are so many wonderful women that pray for the gift of pregnancy, and this isn't meant to make light of that in any way. My trials may appear insignificant to some. I'll never understand the ache that comes from years of praying for a baby. Instead, I feel an odd sense of guilt for being pregnant without trying. Tears of frustration at the unfairness have soaked my pillow. Not for any unfairness towards me, but for the empty cradles of others. God, why give me four babies when so many have none? And then I remember that every good and perfect gift is from above, and thank God for his blessings on my life, and pray again for those still waiting.

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