"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens." Ecclesiastes 3:1

Sunday, August 21, 2016

I am Not a Badass, but I am Catholic

In an ironic turn of events, Buddy and I celebrated Natural Family Planning Awareness Week with a positive pregnancy test.

When I ripped open the test that Tuesday (which also happened to be the feast day of Mary's parents, Saints Joachim and Anne), I was simply looking for reassurance. I was so sure that stress had once again messed with my cycle, I assumed we were trading that $3 test for peace of mind.  I honestly never expected that blue line to appear, but it did. Two seconds into the waiting period and it was boldly staring right back at me.

We were both in shock, but Buddy quickly jumped on the happy train. I, on the other hand, was left crying at the station. I feel horrible admitting that, but pregnancy and I do not play well together. If my past repeated itself, I knew I only had a few days before morning all day sickness would hit, and it always hits me hard. Even with medication, the first trimester of each pregnancy has left me lying on the cold bathroom floor, spent and depressed. These memories are burned into my mind along with the echo of my desperate pleas that Buddy never ask me to do this again.

Don't get me wrong; our hearts still ached for another child. Neither one of us felt like our family was complete.  But we did have a few things we needed wanted to get settled before I got pregnant again.  Even though we are constantly discussing and reevaluating, we were both hoping we'd be ready for another baby before the end of this year. I was just counting on these next few months to mentally prepare myself for my next pregnancy!

As I was fighting my way through a lot of mixed emotions, I started mindlessly scrolling on Facebook and saw this:

I laughed at the thought. I am definitely not a badass! I'm His child, and He is simply doing what a father does. He is pushing me because He knows the desires of my heart, and as my father, He refuses to let me settle for anything less than my potential. God saw our desire for more children was being smothered in fear--fear of judgement from a world that thinks two children is more than enough, fear that our finances will be tighter than they already are, and fear of going through the trial of another pregnancy.

At first, this pregnancy felt like God had shoved me into the deep end of the pool. He knew that I could swim, even if I didn't feel ready. At first, I had all kinds of feelings about that unexpected push, and some of those feelings still creep back up when I'm crying in the bathroom praying that my dinner stays down. But no matter what emotion I'm experiencing, this baby is absolutely wanted.

The thing is, God sees the big picture. He knows when the timing is right, even when the rest of us are left wondering what the heck He could be thinking. So even when I've struggled with the fear of not being ready, I've found peace in knowing that God knows what He is doing. He has a plan, and His plan is always our plan, even when it's unknown and scary.

Ironically, I wrote this post on August 4th of last year, which was almost exactly a year before we found out about this baby. It was such a blessing to read my words again when it popped up in my Time Hop. We have been very blessed to have this kind of supportive family nearby, and I continue to pray that God will help me to be that same kind of blessing to my own children.

It's been a rough few weeks, but it looks like I finally found a new medicine that is helping me feel human again, so praise God for that! We also went for my first ultrasound last week, so we got to see our little bean and watch the tiny heartbeat light up on the screen. As I held Buddy's hand, my eyes filled with tears. Praise God for trusting us with this new life!

Once the ultrasound was complete, we were ready to start announcing to more of our family and friends. While most of the responses have been positive, unfortunately, we've heard a few negative comments as well.  The most popular so far seem to be that we are crazy and that we need to learn how to control ourselves. Much to my surprise, someone even felt the need to shame me for getting pregnant again. (I'm still unsure if this person was trying to make that comment as a joke, but it sure didn't come across that way when it was said.)

I somehow always forget about this part of pregnancy. My brain never forgets the misery of first trimester, but it manages to block out the part about everyone losing their filter around pregnant women.

These kinds of comments are what led me to write this post when I was pregnant with #4 and then this one a few years ago. Everything I said then is still true today. Buddy and I are in a healthy, loving, and faithful marriage. While we are crazy in love with one another, I do not think we are crazy. Anyone that knows anything about how Natural Family Planning works, knows better than to say we need to learn how to control ourselves. And as for shame? I'm honestly still trying to dust myself off from that one.  Planned or not, I'm never going to be ashamed of my family. EVER! Each one of our children is a gift from God, and as faithful Catholics, we will always accept every gift that God gives us, even if that gift comes before we feel like we are ready. 

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