Friday, May 4, 2012

What was that thing Jesus said about worry?

So as of this Saturday I will be 35 weeks pregnant, only two weeks away from what is considered "full term", and although I have obtained everything I think we will absolutely need for the new baby (at least in terms of "stuff") I am still plagued with worry and stress.  Most of the concerns are associated with labor and delivery.  My last delivery did not go as I'd hoped at all.  It was long and painful (as I expected) and my main goal (other than healthy baby & mommy) was to avoid a c-section.  Well, that did not happen.  I labored all day long with no pain relief and still had to have a c-section.  (You can read the whole story here.)  And the recovery from the c-section was long and difficult.  I guess some people have an easier recovery but I really didn't feel normal for several months.  Fortunately, I had a lot of help and only one small baby at the time.  This time I'm going to have one small baby and one *very* active toddler on my hands.  And while I will likely have the same amount of help, everyone still has jobs and other responsibilities so I can't have someone around to help me all the time.

It is fortunate that I have a doctor who is in favor of VBAC and willing to let me try different things in order to avoid another c-section.  (For example, they can't induce me with cervadil like they did last time but she is willing to try things like breaking my water to start labor so I don't have to use pitocin.)  Obviously my hope is to go into labor on my own, not having to be induced like last time.  And while I'm not going to definitely rule out an epidural, I am going to try to labor without it as long as I can, mostly because I pushed with one and without one the last time and pushing was SO much easier when I could feel what was going on.  But of course, I have no idea how things are going to go so it seems almost silly to me to even make plans about it.

 Here's a picture of Elijah with his ball to break up the text.

Labor is one of the things that most displays to me how Jesus is lovingly taking a machete to my control idols.  (The other number one thing is parenthood in general.)  On the one hand, I believe that God created and designed a woman's body to give birth without the use of medical interventions (in almost all cases), but I also believe that he gives us advances in medicine to help us as long as we don't look to those things as a substitute for his divine care and purpose.  And on top of that, when I go into labor, what the labor will look like, how long it will last, how difficult it will be, how it will end up, etc.  All of that is completely out of my control and despite my efforts to try to figure out how to make it go the way I want to, there really is next to nothing I can do.

At first that causes major anxiety for me because it's my body that has to do all this and I don't care if you call them rushes or contractions or whatever the hell you want to--they are insanely painful.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  I mean, they have their purpose and you have to try to work with them, but they hurt like mad.  And while I'm not one to avoid pain at all costs, no one wants to experience that kind of pain.  Knowing that I am going to in about a month's time causes me major anxiety, especially since I don't know how long it will last and if it will be worth it (by that I mean, allowing me to avoid another c-section).

Another picture in his hat (sorry it's crappy, taken with my cell phone).

Really, though, knowing that God is in complete control should cause me great comfort and peace.  It's like how kids can fall asleep on their parents' shoulders in the midst of chaos because they trust their parents to take care of them.  At times I feel that but at times I don't.

I read through Matthew 6:25-34 where Jesus is talking about worry.  It's interesting that the things he says not to worry about are food, drink and clothing.  These are main essentials.  Without them you don't really worry about other stuff.  Does this mean he's telling us only not to worry about the basic essentials because God will provide for those if we just trust him?  Or is he telling us not to worry about anything other than seeking his kingdom?  In v. 34 he tells us not to worry about tomorrow because there's enough trouble today.  So, is he saying it's okay to worry about the troubles of today or is he simply assuming we're going to worry despite the fact that he told us not to?  And of course there are plenty of Proverbs that talk about the wisdom of planning ahead.  Not suggesting that we plan to the point of thinking  we have everything under control; we know only God has control.  But it's like how I still put my kid in a carseat and wear my seatbelt even though I believe God is in control of whether or not we get into a car wreck.

And here's one of him playing at the Plaza Library

I don't have any real answers here, just musings.  Just trying to pray and wait on God and not worry since worrying about how the labor will go is not going to make it go any smoother.  Planning ahead might be helpful but I have real trouble planning ahead without running into trying to take complete control of the situation, which is beyond silly since I can't take control.  And of course, as if my labor worries weren't enough, there are also money worries and concerns about how Elijah is going to handle the shock of having a sibling.  I have told him there's a baby in Mommy's tummy and that he's going to have a little brother and be a big brother, but I really don't think he gets it.  And will I love one kid more than the other?  And if I do will they realize it or will I be able to keep it to myself?  Right now I can't imagine loving any kid as much as I love Elijah and that freaks me out.  I don't want him to be the golden child just because he was our first.  I could really work myself up here if I start thinking about it too much.  I think instead I'll just go pray for the ability to rest in God's sovereignty.  Man is that hard for me to do.

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