The first pertinent piece of back story is that this is my third pregnancy. Caleb and I lost our first baby, a little boy, at about 34 weeks. While that was a very difficult thing for us to go through, it in and of itself had many testimonies surrounding it, which I will have to share another time. That was five years ago.
So, fast forward to August. We find out we're pregnant and we are absolutely over the moon. I soon start feeling the effects of the pregnancy and I am sick all the time. After the initial shock and excitement of finding out we're pregnant started to wear off, I started to become a little more worried. I would worry that if it was a a little boy I wouldn't be able to handle it emotionally. The hurt from losing our baby is still a thing I struggle with on a frequent basis. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to process if we got to keep this boy and not our other one. I worried that I wouldn't be able to look at him with out being reminded of the hurt and loss we felt when his brother died. ...and that was only the beginning. I found myself eventually hoping that it was a girl. Olivia wanted a girl and we had all the clothes already, so a girl would just be easier, I decided.
A few days before we were supposed to find out, I had a craving for chips and salsa. I hadn't had any cravings so far this pregnancy, but when I was pregnant with our son, all I wanted to eat all the time was Mexican. Like, if he hadn't been born with a sombrero on his head holding maracas, I would have been floored. Now, Caleb thinks I'm crazy, but in that moment, the moment when nothing but chips and salsa would do, I knew that we were having a little boy. And suddenly, I wasn't as excited to find out what we were having anymore. I didn't know what to do. I let my worry take away from what should have been an exciting part of my pregnancy.
A few days later, Caleb, Olivia and I were at the doctor's getting a sonogram. I held my breath and hoped against what I knew we were going to see. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I was reading to much in to things. It could still be a girl. Please let it be a girl! Needless to say, it was not a girl. I handled the news only slightly better than Olivia, who started crying saying she wanted a girl and flat out refused (for weeks) to acknowledge that it was a boy. I, on the other hand, managed to not cry and kept repeating my mantra "happy, healthy and whole" to myself, which is what Caleb and I have told people, when asked what we want. After losing the first one, it just seem so trivial to care about anything else. (Says the woman who was fighting back tears. I know, I know. I'm not proud of it.)
If I thought I was worried before, I wasn't prepared for the amount of worry and anxiety that I would feel in the coming weeks. I started to worry about everything. What if I just couldn't grow boys? What if we lost this one too? What if I let Caleb down again? What if I let our families down again? (Please understand that never once have they even hinted in anyway that they have felt let down or that I have failed them. It is just my own worries and guilt projecting on them) What would happen to Olivia if we lost the baby? Would she be okay?
I found myself having these thoughts fairly regularly. Most of the time I could push them away, knowing that they were ridiculous, unfounded fears. However, there were a couple times where they hit just at the wrong time and they were harder to dispel.
One time in particular, we had gone to pick up a crib. While we were at the store, I asked Caleb if we could look around at the baby clothes. I hadn't bought anything for the baby yet, and I thought that maybe if I found some adorable little outfit for him that things would start to look a little brighter. Unfortunately, we were looking in the dead of winter, so most of the stuff we saw was nothing that excited me too much. I finally found a couple onesies that I liked and was walking around with them in my hand. That's when I saw it. A little wool newsboy cap - just like the one I had bought for his brother. I lost it then. And I mean big, ugly cry in the middle of Babies 'R' Us lost it. I walked over to where Caleb had gone with Olivia (who was so over looking at baby clothes) and sat down with them. Caleb patiently held my hand and waited for me to calm down enough to tell him what was going on.
I told him that I didn't know that I could do it again. I didn't know if I could buy all the cute little boy clothes and wait and hope and day dream about seeing our baby in them, only to have to box them up and give them away, unused. I didn't want to have to do that. Caleb listened patiently, and then told me that we wouldn't have to do that again. While he meant well, it only made me more upset. I reminded him that nobody thought we'd have to do it the first time, either. And while I was able to stop crying, eventually, I felt along way from being consoled.
I went through the rest of that day okay, but still kind of sad and worried in the back of my mind. That evening while Caleb was putting Olivia to bed I was doing something in our room, I don't even remember what. Looking for a book maybe. When all of a sudden, a song that I remembered from my childhood, maybe, but that I hadn't heard in years started running through my head. The chorus goes like this:
"One day at a time sweet Jesus that's all I'm asking from you
Give me the strength to do everyday what I have to do
Yesterday's gone sweet Jesus and tomorrow may never be mine
So for my sake teach me to take one day at a time."
As this song ran through my head, it hit me like a freight train. God needed me to trust Him. But more importantly, I didn't have to look at the big picture and worry about it and try and figure it out. God wanted me to come to him daily and trust Him to take care of my baby and to take care of me through out my pregnancy. Now, I know that this seems like Bible Basics or Christianity 101 maybe, but I have always struggled with trust. With needing to see the big picture, instead of just the next step. This song reminded me "trust" was a verb it was a thing that i needed to do. Daily. It reminded me that I wasn't in control, but more importantly that I wasn't alone. That there was Someone that wanted to help shoulder my load. To take my fears upon Himself so that I could be comforted. Someone who wanted to protect me and the sweet little boy I was carrying, but who also wanted me to ask for that protection. Who wanted me to trust Him enough to admit that I was weak and that there was nothing I could do in my power alone to protect this baby I love so much, and reach out to Him because He can and then trust that He will.
I felt at peace for the first time in my entire pregnancy. I was eager to share with someone, so I texted my mom. I told her how I loved that God can take something we barely remember and bring it to the forefront of our minds to give us exactly what we need when we need it. She, of course, was curious as to what I meant. So I told her that a song that I barely remembered from when I was little popped into my head and i proceeded to tell her what song, and what it had helped me see.
She texted me back, and told me that what I had told her had made her a little emotional, and proceeded to tell me this:
"That was a song actually that Grandpa sang. It's always been one that Gma and Gpa both knew. But after Gpa got sick with his cancer the first little bit and initially couldn't walk, he testified that that song came to him and gave him strength. He was walking again with the walker and such and from what I remember the dr told him he'd never be able to do that. He eventually got so sick he couldn't even use the walker, but that was always a theme song he sang to give him strength through his illness. Grandma then sang it a lot after grandpa died to also gain strength. You probably heard grandma sing it more than Gpa...if ever. But it was mostly sang after he got sick and gave him strength."
My grandpa died when I was four. I don't have a lot of memories of him. I remember him making me laugh, I remember him being ornery as all get out, and probably most important, I remember how much he loved me and how special I felt whenever I was around him. It was because of those sweet memories that I had asked Caleb when we found out we were pregnant, that if it was a boy, we name him Crawford (my grandfather's name). He agreed, and it has been my one bright spot through out all my worry and anxiety.
Despite being one of the youngest grandkids, and being only four when he died, I always felt a strong connection to my Grandpa. Probably because I got told how often I had things in common with him, and I loved those things. I cherished them. I realize now though the thing I have the most to cherish from him, is a thing I didn't even realize he had given me: an example of faith in Jesus Christ to the very end. It's now my prayer that I can be like him in that way. That I can pass on the legacy of faith that both he (and my Grandma) lived out to my son, and that he can grow up to have a faith like the man he was named after.
This pregnancy has been such a crazy ride, but I am so grateful that I was able to learn this lesson. That I was able to be reminded of just how much my Savior wants to help me, and how I don't need to be afraid to ask Him for help or to tell him my concerns. And I love that He did it in a way that would be meaningful to me, connecting two people that I love dearly together. I can't wait to meet my sweet boy and hold him in my arms and tell him all about the things the he and great grandpa taught me.