As I sit and reminisce about my past pregnancies and what it was like at 31 weeks with each, I praise God each pregnancy truly is different. Pregnancy has never been this glorious period of my life. It’s always filled with fear. Always. Anytime I’ve ever seen the two pink lines or the two times I saw the positives on the blue lines—Fear instead of excitement sets in. It’s not a fear of not having planned another child. No, it’s a fear of the unknown. The not knowing if I’d get to hold this newly conceived baby at his birth.
Quickly, to ground myself, especially when pregnant, you’ll find me richly studying God’s Word. My prayer life becomes more profound than normal. I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit most of my pregnancies because I’m actively engaged in the relationship with Him because when my focus teeters, I begin to fall as the solid lead bottom I am.
My first pregnancy ended a little over six weeks. I never met that child. You can read more about this pregnancy, here.
The second pregnancy, my oldest, Dietrich, was a miracle baby. They all are, don’t get me wrong, but for real his conception story. The miracles God performed during that pregnancy. I’m still in awe when I go back to read my journal during that time. By 31 weeks with him, he had implanted low and moved back up to a safe position. At 20 weeks 2 of his four chambers of his heart were not visible, so I began weekly appointments with Maternal Fetal Medicine. Not sure what that is, read here, and think Addison Montgomery-Shepherd on Grey’s Anatomy. During those visits, we found out I had low fluid. Like scary low. My doctors knew it was a sign of preeclampsia, but I had no other symptoms. Mind you, I was still teaching in my inner-city 8th-grade classroom, thus stress and high blood pressure. Mind you I was at my peak weight I’d ever been in my life. Also, I hadn’t gained any weight during the pregnancy, which was great, but still freaky when I wasn’t producing enough fluid in my placenta. I was hospitalized. I was insulin dependent. My blood pressure was a hot mess. I felt miserable and tired. Oh and I was already dilating. Oh and I was doing NonStress Tests 3x a week. At 31 weeks I didn’t know, I would be seeing this little boy I just two short more weeks. He was born at 33 weeks three days.
With Daylan, my third pregnancy, everything was so much better to start with. In fact, I mentioned to my OB at one point during a routine appointment, “That’s it? Nothing else?” He laughed and said something like, “Yes, this is how routine pregnancy goes.” My response, “Well this seems quite boring.” Why did I say that? But at 31 weeks with her, I had the backaches and trouble moving my legs. I was dilating, and dilating quickly. That pressure…. Why or how do we forget about that pressure? Just two weeks later, I was on bed rest because I was dilated to 4cm and 100% effaced. That lasted a month because she was born at 37 weeks three days.
My fourth pregnancy didn’t make it to 31 weeks. I dreamed of what 31 weeks would look like. Easy came to mind. I had lost over 60 pounds. I was in excellent shape. I was running, at least, four days a week. I was strong, agile, and felt on top of the world. It would be an easy transition to the third baby because we were in a great place. Nothing seemed to be in our way. Until the strength of the baby’s heart beat weakened to a flat line. That baby was gone at nine weeks four days.
This time around, I cannot even begin to tell you how much better I feel. Yes, I was in much better shape before conceiving. The story of this baby’s conception can be found here. I’m still in great shape as I’ve worked out five days a week still while pregnant. Even on the days, I felt miserable, and the couch with sweatpants was all I wanted. I’ve watched my diet pretty well, too. And while I may be considered a gestational diabetic now, it is completely controlled with diet and exercise. I’m truly enjoying, this time, being pregnant.
Things are different this time around, though. I have been tired most of this pregnancy. I’ve experienced much more brain fog. I’ve had less emotional/hormonal outbursts. I’ve also not nested nor do I even feel like I want to at all. I’m sure that will change toward the end. Or maybe nesting looks different for now. Or maybe I feel like I can let go of some control for now and let Dustin handle some of the tasks—which is new to me, too.
Regardless, I’m grateful each pregnancy is different. I’m grateful because each pregnancy brings about new knowledge of who God is and what his promises mean to me. Each Saturday evening when in worship service at church, this baby seems to grasp the idea of an evangelical because when our pastor speaks He’s bouncing around and praising God or saying Amen in agreement in my womb. Every pregnancy is worthy, and every pregnancy deserves praise no matter your circumstances and no matter how the child was conceived.
At 31 weeks one day, I praise God every kick and movement I feel from our little boy. I long to see his face and hear his first wails of life. Excitement wells within me to get to know who he is and how he fits into our tight-knit family. Every time I stick my finger to check my blood sugar, I’m reminded I’m doing this for him and Him, not me. Every meal that spinach is on my plate instead of the refined sugars I’m craving, I’m choosing him and Him over me. Every time I press play on my workout DVD when I don’t want to, I’m saying to him and Him that sacrifice is more important than sitting on the couch.
At 31 weeks one day, I continue to pray and dig into the Word to feed me life and promises everlasting so that I may continue to connect with this baby/pregnancy and have no fears.