Sunday, 14 February 2010

The Waiting Game

It’s the early hours of Sunday 14th February 2010 and I’m sitting in bed writing this on my brand new netbook that Dan bought me as a present to say well done for carrying the baby and well done in advance for bringing the baby into the world.

Ok, so I was in bed but the tapping woke Dan up so I’m now downstairs. Anyway… today is the big D day, the due date, the date that all other pregnancy related dates have been counted from/to. And yet there’s no signs that the baby is planning on arriving anytime soon. No shows, very few (if any really) Braxton hicks, not a whole lot of cramping or anything else like that. And I don’t mind – I’m still quite happy being pregnant. I’ve been really lucky throughout the pregnancy really – apart from particularly yucky nausea at the beginning and when I was working (it also came back in January after Christmas when I was at work) I’ve had a textbook pregnancy with no additional issues to worry about – no massive weight gain, no SPD or sciatica, full movement and mobility, nothing wrong with the baby…

And yet, the midwives have been saying stuff recently which makes me think I’m running out of time for this baby to rock up naturally. I’m exactly 40 weeks today according to due date and so on Wednesday, when I’ll be 40+3 I’m off to the midwife for a sweep. Normally they’d wait longer, but owing to my height and the fact that the baby’s head isn’t engaged, they think there is some possibility that the head might be too big to fit into my pelvis, or that the baby will get too big if I go a full two weeks overdue for a natural birth. Depending on what the midwife observes when she does my sweep I might be sent to the hospital for a scan to see exactly how big the baby is and what the deal is. The end result has every possibility of being a caesarean… hence feeling like time is running out.

I don’t really want to have a caesarean and yet at the same time I just want my baby and me to go through the birth process (whatever route) safely and to end up with both of us healthy and happy. There are a lot of cons (the way I’m looking at it) to a caesarean and so whilst from day one I tried not to make plans, not to have a birth plan, I have to be honest and say it’s not something I considered for very long as I never thought it would be something I’d have to think about.

I want to successfully breastfeed the little one and sometimes skin to skin and close contact after a caesarean birth doesn’t really happen or has to be delayed. This was pretty much one of the only things I wanted. I guess I’m just in the waiting game now. Unless the baby does kick things into gear before Wednesday I know I’m waiting until then to see what the deal is with it’s little (or not so little!) head.

At the end of the day, I need to wait. There’s nothing I can do to make the baby come any faster. I’ve been told sex and lots of it is the only real way to attempt to bring things on but even still I guess I don’t really have any high hopes that this baby will come as a result of any bedroom antics!

The verse that comes to mind in the stillness of the early morning is “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Sometimes being still when you’re waiting is hard. Right now, I would happily be asleep but my body and the baby have other ideas. So how does one actively ‘be still’?

I guess by not fretting, not obsessing, not trying to take things into your own hands, but by trusting, talking to God, being quiet, letting Him speak rather than making so much noise you can’t hear His “gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:12)

Be still for the presence of the Lord
The Holy One is here
Come bow before Him now
With reverence and fear

In Him no sin is found
We stand on holy ground
Be still for the presence of the Lord
The Holy One is here

Be still for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around
He burns with holy fire
With splendour He is crowned

How awesome is the sight
Our radiant King of Light
Be still for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around

Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place
He comes to cleanse and heal
To minister His grace
No work too hard for Him
In faith receive from Him
Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place

Lord I want to receive from you, in faith, my little baby! Despite how the baby is or isn’t lying, is or isn’t engaged, is or isn’t a fatty… no work is too hard for you. God, if it is safe, please bring my baby along naturally before Wednesday. And if not Lord, then help me over this next week to be still and know You are God, You are in charge, You have this sussed and sorted.

This has been a long waiting game… from the very initial prayer Dan and I prayed about ‘not preventing’ having a baby anymore to falling pregnant, each trimester, and now the final week or so… soon I will meet our child. We will have a son or a daughter to love, cherish, nurture, and teach of Jesus.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
(Proverbs 22:6 ESV)

Lord, may our child know you, love you and live for you. We can train and teach and point to you, but capturing his/her heart is not something we can make happen.

Only you can. And so in the meantime, I will be still and wait.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Things as yet unseen

So... we’ve just had a brand new dishwasher stolen from our locked garage. That sucks. Especially when you’re 12 days from your due date, emotionally and hormonally unstable, tired... and feeling like you’ve already had your share of things going wrong with extra expense in getting the bathroom finished, a cement mixer being stolen from your garden... etc. etc!

And yet... things like this force you to think about what is really important. Gutted that the dishwasher Dan’s parents had so generously given us for Christmas is gone – but we managed without and we will continue to manage without. Sad for them too though. Generally, it’s a pretty horrible thing when someone invades your space and steals something that is yours.

However, after allowing myself a good hour to phone the police and then have a good cry, the thing that came to mind was to focus on things as yet unseen. What do we normally spend our time thinking about? I’m guessing normally it’s “us” and how we feel, when we’re wronged... We’re not supposed to dwell on things that are not of God, but of things that are godly, righteous, good. Dwelling on the rubbish stuff that happens only serves to increase my ego of how everything in my life should be about me being happy and me being the centre. But instead, we’re to focus on things greater than ourselves...

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Philippians 4:8

Yes I’m disappointed and yes I’m frustrated... but to dwell on what has happened isn’t going to get me anywhere. I feel vulnerable and pretty much like a jar of clay... fragile and with the potential to break... but I know that I am more than just an empty jar... I have the treasure inside.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed... Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:7-9, 16-18

Sometimes life does press you pretty darn hard. Sometimes you do feel crushed, sometimes you are perplexed... but don’t lose heart – we are being renewed. I am being renewed...

I am choosing not to fix my eyes on the dodgy garage, dodgy area, dodgy people that have chosen to barge their way into my life... instead I am going to fix my eyes on what is unseen. My life is about more than me.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

New year... new beginnings...

It's 2010. I feel like it's time to start blogging again. I guess now that I'm on maternity leave it's a good way of getting thoughts, emotions and musings out and into a place where I'll be able to look back on in time to come.

It's 2010. I only blogged once last year, not at all in 2008 and 5 times in 2007... not exactly a regular blogger. I guess it's partly because I still keep my handwritten journal, but also because being a grown-up (full time work and not a student) and being married has meant time for sitting down and writing the ramblings in my head is not the highest priority.

It's 2010. I will have a baby this year. The little family unit that is currently Dan and me will become three and we will have a son or a daughter. It is such an odd concept. We'll be parents. We'll be responsible for the upbringing and development of a tiny human being. A little person that will be dependent on us.

It's 2010. I have so many hopes and fears. Hopes for me, hopes for Dan, hopes for the baby. I hope that this year will be a year I'll look back on in future years as one where my relationship with Jesus went to the next level. One where I matured in my faith. One where I grow and become wiser, kinder, more compassionate, more patient, less selfish, more loving, more joyful, more self-controlled, more gentle, less judgemental... generally one where I have a greater abundance of the fruits of the spirit in my life.

It's 2010. Dan has started his new job. He now works in the not-for-profit charity sector. He's working as the Vehicle For Change (V4C) Project Leader for West Kent YMCA. His job is all about working as a detached youth worker... it's about transformation, it's about change, it's about growth... things that I want for us, for me, for him, for the baby.

It's 2010. I don't know what the future holds. Financially I don't know what I will do when the statutory maternity pay runs out. I don't even know if it'll be enough to pay the mortgage and bills whilst I'm not working. I don't know what job I will do. I don't know how being a mummy will affect my outlook on life...

It's 2010. A new year with new beginnings...

It's 2010. A new decade...

It's 2010. And it's not mine to plan.

Jesus, help me surrender my hopes, fears, dreams and the unknowns to you on a daily basis. Help me not to become overwhelmed by the things outside of my control but see the challenges as an opportunity to get to know you and your faithfulness more. Jesus, I don't know what is to come, but I know you do. Help me trust you.

Father, may you do something in 2010, that, like Habakkuk will leave me "utterly amazed". Would you do something in my days that I will not believe, even if you told me about it... will you make 2010 a year of miracle, a year of blessing, a year of growth, a year of revelation.

Lord, I want 2010 to be the year where I have the 'ruach' experiences... Come Lord Jesus.

It's 2010.