Sunday, August 4, 2013

passing the due date: confessions of a weak and tired pregnant girl {baby #5, 40 weeks}

Past due. 40 weeks came and went, and we are officially in overtime. :)

Okay, so, I'll admit- I never, ever thought that would happen. ;) Apparently no one else did either.  Not one person guessed on the poll that I would go this late. :)

I've tried to stay positive about it all, :) but Friday {the "official" calendar due date} was my hardest day by far. I have never put any stock in a "due date", and I didn't with this one at all until this point- in fact, I rarely even thought about what day it was- just what week I was due, because the idea that a baby should arrive on/by a particular day seems like telling yourself what time you'll wake up without an alarm clock. It will just happen when it happens, no matter what you decide beforehand.

But Friday was terrible- I didn't sleep at all again, but this time thanks to a weird stink bug landing on my husband 3 whopping hours after we went to sleep. I felt like the bug waking me up was some kind of cruel trick- as if it weren't bad enough to be 40 weeks pregnant with no labor in sight, I was never going to be able to sleep again either. I cried several times that day, and had lots of oh, Jesus, please help me moments.

Somehow my "due date" came to mean a lot more to me on the day it arrived.

But Jesus did hear my cries- oh, how He did. I took a long nap Friday afternoon, thanks to my husband, ate plenty and slept some more, and then the weekend came, and He gave me rest and energy again to keep going. I felt like a massive failure for being so upset on Friday morning about something so silly- for losing it so easily when I knew He had a plan, but He reminded me over and over again that even in my weakest moments, He knows me.

He already knows my failures. He knows how tired I am these days- how I miss feeling so happy and excited about the future, how I miss bending over normally, and running, doing pushups, and liking coffee. And how I miss sleeping mostly. He knows all of that.

And please understand that I'm so not trying to complain- I know pregnancy is an amazing blessing, and that having a healthy body and a healthy pregnancy is truly a gift! I am thankful for the chance to do it again- and I realize that not every one gets to experience that kind of wonderful. And really, I feel very normal, even now- I'm not terribly uncomfortable, or miserable by any means.

It's just that there's something about being totally out of control of your situation that takes you to a place of sanctification in a way nothing else does.

I haven't wanted to tell God when I'd like this baby to come- for all of this pregnancy, He's placed it on my heart to say, when you're willing, Lord. I'm more than ready, by all means, but I'm trying to wait on Him more than anything, because I know His plans are better than mine.  I joke about eating Mexican food and walking and dates and other fun "induction methods"{all things I like to do anyway!}, but I honestly don't believe you can get a baby to come out before it's time any more than you can make your own period start. They're just all fun distractions for while you wait. :)

The waiting this time around has really been harder because of my expectations, I think. I expected God's plan to go differently, because it had before. But He's teaching me to wait, and supplying me with enough patience to do it in this experience.

Friday was full of weakness- I was so humbled by how completely inadequate I am to do anything on my own. I'm such a baby when it comes to suffering {grrr}, and all day long I kept thinking of my friends and family who have actually suffered in the past year, and praying for them because I can't imagine how much they must have hurt and ached and lost hope. I know this doesn't even come close.

But last week the Lord reminded me that He still sees it all- even my little bitty trials, and that He still cares about me and my situation, even though it hardly seems worthy of His attention.

In the last few weeks, He put this sweet older woman with lovely bright red hair and blue eyes in my path. I don't really know her, but we've spoken a couple of times in passing in public places, and when I saw her again at a restaurant just over a week ago, she asked me about my due date, and then out of nowhere, she spoke this Word over me, and told me how God remembers me with this verse in Isaiah 40:11:

He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
    he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
    and gently lead those that are with young.

I really didn't expect her to quote Scripture to me at all, but the moment she did, I knew the Holy Spirit was telling me this through her, and the words and reference sank deep into my heart.

I went to bed that night, and woke up at 2:30 a.m. {for the day}, and I cried and cried as I read those words again, so exhausted, that early morning:

He will gently lead those that are with young. 

He knows how tired and slow-moving the ones bearing little children are. How awkward and uncomfortable, and exhausting their walk becomes when they are with young.

And He carries in His arms the ones who cannot walk on their own.

My Jesus.

He already knows this is a great time of weakness for me. He knows how my prayers are feeble cries right now. That I've only slept a few hours in the last week. He knows how fragile I am, and how much I long to see my baby boy and feel normal again.

And He isn't poking at me, prodding and punishing me with his shepherd's stick saying, "Mandy, hurry up- you really stink at your tiny bit of suffering... you need to get it right and do better," like I imagine He is.

He is gently leading me. He gave me this sweet child, and He has a plan for him, and for me. He created my body the way He did, to carry this load, in this way, and He knows this and loves me so much that He stays with me and leads me with love, even when I'm slow, huge, and so very tired.

That's my Father. That's my God.

He restores my soul. He gently leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

It's for His glory that He is walking me through this longer, slower path. And that, strangely enough, is exactly what I've been praying for from the very beginning, from before this little one was even conceived. That the birth of this child would glorify Him. And that His name would be made great. I just didn't expect it to come like this.

I can trust Him with my whole life- my heart is His. He proves how much He loves me- He can even send complete strangers to encourage me and pray for me over and over again!! Get this- I've run into that sweet red-headed lady and she's encouraged me and told me she's prayed for me on two more occasions, at a different place, in the last WEEK. And I don't live in a small town, my friends. That kind of thing NEVER happens.

The Lord knows when this little one will come. And He knows why it will be when it will be. I do not. But I trust Him. I fail Him, I falter- I lack faith- but He does not leave me or forsake me, and He has reminded me of that again in the last few days. I didn't deserve the grace He gave me, and I still do not. It is a gift.

Our God is so, so good. He never fails. And He never stops working everything together for His glory, which is for my good, because He has redeemed me and called me by name. I am His child, His precious lamb, and He will gently lead me, and carry me every time I need Him to.

Oh, sweet friends, magnify the Lord with me, and let's exalt His name together.

How has He led you, or carried you in His arms when you couldn't go on your own?

p.s. thank you so much for all your prayers and encouragement- I cannot tell you how much it means to me. It is incredible and so wonderful to be a part of the body of Christ with you all!

37, 38, 39, and 40 weeks- still growing!! ;)

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