The voice of doubt
doesn’t leave with the arrival of
But morphs into a new costume,
with the same actor
playing the same role–
Disguised as a different tongue,
Casting doubt where there is truth
and fear where there is joy,
replacing with lies
memories to come
A pull at my leg gives pause–
I wait for the fate that isn’t promised,
But was whispered the same,
What if the joy comes
and then more pain,
Can I allow myself to feel
and not be let down again,
What is the truth I can cling to–
Statistics or numbers or experiences,
Or maybe a retelling of the story
I need to hear once more
Of the good and stable and reliable,
Of the wealth of joy,
Against my scruffy tumultuous roar of waves
that try to erase
the reality in me
Pregnancy has brought about a myriad of emotions. I can blame some on hormonal changes, but others on the way I am wired. It is a new telling of an old story of trust and fear and the reminder of my utter lack of being in control.
When we first found out I was pregnant, it was a routine day of getting ready and going about our morning rituals. If my unpredictable cycle was more irregular than normal, I’d usually take a pregnancy test to make sure I didn’t inadvertently do anything that could harm a baby. This particular morning was nothing special as I got the supplies ready and prepared myself for another single-lined reminder of daily life for the last several years.
And then it appeared, the faintest of lines on a flimsy, pink stick. Surely, this couldn’t be, so I dipped another test and tried again. Still faint, still present, and the pain I was feeling in my side was still jabbing.
Immediately, I was struck with fear that this pregnancy could be misplaced. Ever since my sister-in-law almost died from an ectopic pregnancy, I’ve been acutely aware of the symptoms. And my symptoms were matching it: later than normal, pain in one side, faint positive. Boxes I didn’t want to check but mentally took note of.
And then the fear overwhelmed me.
I always envisioned the day I’d see two lines on a pregnancy test. I envisioned the joy on my husband’s face as I told him the good news. The expectation of that becoming reality had diminished as the months and years passed on and this day my realist personality gave me pause and it transferred to his face as well.
What if this is real and will soon be taken away?
I tried to stop the flood of emotions as the day progressed. I quickly realized I had to switch OB-GYNs due to insurance and needed to confirm where this pregnancy was at in my body.
Over the course of hours, I found a new doctor and they confirmed the possibility of my fears, quickly setting an appointment for the following day. Thankfully, it was my husband’s day off and we could be present together to see the results.
After the ultrasound, the doctor informed me that I was much earlier along in my pregnancy than they expected with how long my cycle was, a nurse was surprised I could even be pregnant, and they recommended I have my blood tested for hormonal levels, only to return in a week and see if things had progressed.
So, needles prodded my arms to extract the possibility of life growing within me. And I could do nothing but wait. As I had waited for years to hear any helpful news.
In the week that followed, I had a busier than normal schedule. I couldn’t only focus on the fears in my mind, but also tried to remain realistic.
We prayed for good news and for peace in the midst of waiting.
We prayed for wisdom.
We talked and prayed and waited.
And it was clear, we couldn’t do this alone.
I told my husband I needed to share this with people who could pray for us and if needed, grieve with us. I couldn’t walk through this possible fate alone and knew it would strain us beyond our capacity.
It’s the one thing we’ve learned over the years: we need community.
And in this case, we needed community to help us think on truth, to pray for us, to simply know.
We have been able to continue rejoicing that this baby–Baby Glory as we now call her–is living inside of me. Just this morning we were reminded of the truth that we are experiencing answered prayers. Prayers that continued for years when all we could do was attempt to cling on to hope–the hope that even if these prayers were never answered the way we prayed, that our lives could still be lived in abundance.
And we experienced those answered prayers to living an abundant life in the midst of pain time and time again. But now we experience the answered prayers of a child. And our rejoicing is not just ours, but those who have walked alongside us in our pain and will continue to walk alongside us as we learn what it means to parent.
As the days followed the appointment informing us we needed to wait, I jotted lines about the several pregnancy tests I took. In my mind, it was a way to be physically reminded that this reality was, in fact, reality.
You think one pregnancy test would do,
But you’d be wrong,
How about two,
Dip and wait for years on end,
All collecting in seconds,
The heart would know
What the lines foretell-
A child to be born,
But is it so?
Years have passed with nothing but one,
And now two lines emerge from the depths of none,
like an unexpected plot twist
when the story was settled
and hope was distant,
Nothing to will or speak or think,
But still Your majestic hand worked in me,