Hey lady, here we go again. You’re 37 weeks and feeling like this pregnancy has gone fast, but in slow motion. I know you reached this point in your other two pregnancies and struggled with fear and worry, so I thought I’d ward that off with a few reminders.
1. Trust your body.
The first time around, you weren’t so sure if you could really trust your body. You wondered how your labor story would play out and if your body would betray you. You let others dictate how you should labor and push out your baby. Though you had an unmedicated birth like you hoped, it was long, harder than you expected and you had some regrets. The second time around, you were better prepared and trusted that the pain was purposeful. You knew that slow is not bad, it is just the way God programmed you. So the next time, you surrendered to your body and allowed it to guide you. You sang, swayed, slept, soaked in the tub and relaxed. You did what it took to allow your mind to get in tune with your body. And after two days of laboring at home, you delivered a healthy baby girl 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital. I know you can do this again—trust your body. It knows what it’s doing.
2. Trust (and enjoy) your baby.
This little pink wriggly that they’ll place on your chest is more intuitive than you will ever know. He already knows you, loves you and respects you. Listen to him and find ways to be in tune with him—even when your gut goes against “the books.” God has made YOU his mama—no one else. He has gifted you with the ability to meet his needs in ways that no one else on earth right now can.
Instead of “getting through” those first few weeks and months with your new one, focus on enjoying him. Cuddle him longer than you “should,” tickle your nose with his baby fuzz hair, breathe in his newborn scent, strap him to your body to feel his warmth, nurse him in the middle of the night while you catch up on T.V. shows (without guilt) and cup his frog legs in your hands as his body still wants to be in a ball. Blink, and he will be running circles in the living room with your other two, so enjoy these precious, fleeting days of infancy while they last.
3. You will be given what you need.
Now that you have other children, you wonder how you will have space in the inner rooms of your heart for more. Will there be enough love, patience, wisdom, strength and time to stretch around and envelop this new one? Will you feel the same toward him that you do toward your other lovelies? This is where Jesus will step in, making His miracles. Like the widow who hesitated to give up the last of her oil and flour when the prophet Elijah asked for it, you, too, wonder if you will be required to give more than you have. But you will be shocked to find that “the bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty” (1 Kgs. 17:14).
You will be given what you need exactly when you need it, so give freely. Err on the side of generosity. This time of adding a needy soul to an already chaotic and overflowing life will extend you beyond your ability so that you will see your needs and your new one’s needs met in miraculous ways. Your lack will lead to a demonstration of God’s provision. Your scarcity is an opportunity for Jesus to lavish His excessive love on you. Wait and see. God will make a feast out of your simple offering of flour and oil.
4. This baby does not belong to you.
He has never belonged to you and never really will. He has been knit, formed, made and molded in your body—but not by you. The Holy Spirit has been at work for a long time on this little one—you have always carried a part of him inside of your body, just waiting for this egg to be picked for such a time as this. God knew his name before he even existed and has always known the number of days he ordained for this little one. Open your clenched hands and place him back on the altar. This baby is not yours. The sooner you accept that, the better you all will be.
5. Do not fear.
Before you conceived, you feared it wouldn’t happen. You were afraid that pink line on your dollar store pregnancy test would never have a partner. But then throughout this entire pregnancy, you have feared that you would lose the baby. Now, you fear complications in these final weeks, in labor or that your baby will be born with birth defects that will alter his life and yours. Fear has stubbornly clutched your skirt hem all along this road. But here are some words of life that you wrote out for yourself on note cards the first time around. Let these words empower you as you prepare to give birth. Submerse yourself in them like the muscle-soothing soak of the weary who takes a bath after training for a marathon.
Soak in these Truths:
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him”
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline”
(2 Tim. 1:7).
“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God have I put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?”
“For God is not a God of confusion, but of peace”
(1 Cor. 14:33).
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord is the rock eternal”
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you”
“Be strong and courageous! Do not trouble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”
“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord”
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?”
(Ps. 27: 1).
“Peace, I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful”