It's hard to grasp that I'm in the midst of - over a third of the way through! - my third pregnancy. My second pregnancy in less than a year. These last two babies sure did come back to back, to our surprise. Wendell took his sweet time in getting conceived - we waited for him to be created for well over two years - but this new baby decided to come along within two months. And we are so glad it happened that way. I can call myself the mama of three children now.
I've been amazed to be experiencing my most peaceful and calm pregnancy yet. This pregnancy is the one where I have the most reason to be fearful - with my first, Maggie arrived way ahead of schedule at 33 weeks, and of course Wendell didn't make it out safely into the world. I did have some fears early on in this pregnancy, having such a great awareness now of all that can and does go wrong in some pregnancies. After my first short doctor appointment a few weeks ago, I felt like I hit a turning point. At that appointment we got to hear the baby's heartbeat briefly, which was amazing, but something else came up that was concerning to me and the doctor did not do a good job of reassuring me. After working myself into a panic and spending a couple hours scouring the Internet for information, I came to this simple but profound epiphany: I did not want a pregnancy filled with fear and I was the one responsible for figuring out how to do that. I had to CHOOSE peace and trust over fear, had to make an active decision, because otherwise my hormones and fearful thoughts would be running rampant.
Somehow that has made all the difference. A wonderful new friend suggested using affirmations, such as, "My body is strong and is providing all that my baby needs." Actively replacing the negative, fearful thoughts with positive, affirming ones has been huge. Do I know that these positive ideas do not always come true? Well, yes. Obviously things do not always work out as I'd like them to. Babies die and that has always been a part of the story of motherhood. But I can choose to believe that this pregnancy will be a different story for me than the story of Wendell.
I'm choosing to live each day, one at a time, in immense gratitude and hope. Every day I touch my belly and say, "I am so grateful that my baby is growing inside me, safe and strong, and that my body is nourishing my baby." I can't predict what will happen at the end of this pregnancy, at 28 weeks or at 33 weeks or at 40 weeks. I don't know if I'll have preterm labor again or if I will lose another baby to stillbirth. I'm not guaranteed anything. But I do trust that whatever comes, I will be ok. My needs will be met. And I am thankful that today, as far as I know, my baby is growing well and I am doing fine. I can't look beyond today, I can only do what is right for today.