Faith in Flutters: 19 Weeks

19 weeks. 

Picture pending...

We have reached the exciting and nerve-wracking stage of pregnancy where I get to feel tiny baby flutters. Neither of my girls were big in-utero movers. Papillon had an "anterior placenta" which makes movement hard to feel. I'd have to check, but I think it was really 22-24 weeks when I finally felt her move, and I could never do a "kick count" for her. And Hibou was just pretty chill I suppose.    

So really I shouldn't expect to feel much movement this early. But for a number of reasons, my expectations of movement from this child are way up.  

 First, this is my 3rd time around, I know what it feels like. All the websites (and the doctors) say to expect first movements between 18 and 22 weeks, but definitely earlier if you are an "experienced mom". 

Second, the Baby never stops moving, or at least that's what the ultrasounds indicate. Granted, we've had 4 ultrasounds with this one already, and had just 1 at this point with the others. But I never knew a kid so tiny could move so much. Arms, legs, total tumbles. How can I not feel that?

Third, I am desperate for movements. Like hugely desperate. I keep telling myself "after my next appointment, I won't be as anxious".  My doctors keep throwing statistics at me. "Risk of miscarriage at Xweek is less than Xpercent". No amount of reassuring seems to help with the anxiety.

Movements have started (first convincing batch of flutters came Feb 9th, at exactly 17 weeks). But they've also stopped. And started. And stopped.  And I don't mean every couple hours. I mean one day I feel Baby all the day long; every time I sit down. Then I feel NOTHING for 3+ days. No matter how much juice I drink, or how long I lay on my left side. Nothing. 

And this is what that means for me for these past couple weeks:

When Baby is moving, I feel beautiful, pregnant, full of life, ready to tackle anything, excited to plan, to nest, to name this kid! 

When Baby is not moving, I feel fat, lethargic, unmotivated, distracted, unwilling to think past today, and I definitely don't want to talk about Baby Froggy for fear of becoming "too attached". 

In summary, I've been a hot mess the past couple weeks.

I've prayed for movement. I'll be really honest. I've begged God for movement. Just one convincing movement before bed so I can sleep.  One flutter so I can focus on making dinner. Movement of any kind so that I can breathe while my husband travels 14 time zones away for two weeks. 
And this is what God has sent me (literally, via a really sporadic email devotional):

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.  Isaiah 26:3-4

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.  Psalm 4:8

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thess 3:16

Instead of sending me Flutters, He sent me Truth
Flutters help alleviate anxiety, for sure; but I can't put my trust in them. 
They are fleeting, as is my faith in them.
 God is eternal and unchangeable.
He sustains all life
He is Lord over death
He delights to bless those he loves
That's what God's been showing me time and time again (again literally, He sent me the same email devotional twice in one week...weird). True peace is found in Him, not in Baby Flutters. 
And yet, I still find it much easier to have faith in flutters.  I keep telling myself it will be better when I can feel Baby more consistently.  I know it won't.

I can't beat this anxiety until I put it in something worthy of my trust.  I know this. But it's still hard. Why? I'll be honest again. It's because peace in God doesn't necessarily result in a healthy baby.  God has given me much peace about the Babies we lost. And His promise is that He'll be with me, even in the valley of death.  I've thought that a 3rd miscarriage would be the end of me; that I wouldn't survive it. It feels that way, though I know it's not true. Should that be God's will, I know He would give me peace, help me find joy, possibly even give me the courage to try again.  

 But, truth be told, I don't want that kind of peace this time. I just want a healthy baby that I can hold! 

I am working on putting my faith in the God of eucatastrophes.
Ultimately, there will be a great eucatastrophe and I'll get to meet even my unborn Babies. 
For now, God's promise is to never leave me alone and that is sufficient, or at least I am working on letting it be (while I continue to pray for a ridiculous amount of Baby movement). 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

No comments: